This is about choice.

Guest post from Louise Ross – aka @grannylouisa

No Smoking Day is always a busy time for stop smoking services across the country, because teams of frontline staff, in health, schools, colleges and local authorities, ask for our help. They put on events in their own workplaces that complement the work we do all year, aiming to support people who want to stop smoking. This all contributes to reducing the harm done by tobacco, especially in some of the poorest communities we serve.

This year, the Leicester Stop service was busier than ever, as we chose No Smoking Day to launch our new ‘brand’ as the first in the country to become an e-cig friendly service.

During the week, I did several media interviews, including local and regional radio, and for this piece in the Leicester Mercury.

This kind of publicity helps us communicate our new ‘offer’ to local smokers, that we are really keen to support them to stop smoking, whether they want to use licensed products or e-cigs.

One of the other really important communication routes though is the voice of the same frontline staff I referred to earlier – there is a huge hearts-and-minds job to be done with them where e-cigs are concerned, partly because of a massive information gap but also because of the misinformation that circulates via hostile media stories and from otherwise credible sources that claim to be speaking up for the health of the nation.

One such group, which I won’t identify here, asked me for help to do a series of talks about the dangers of e-cigs. They said they didn’t want to dwell on the dangers of smoking, just to raise people’s awareness about how harmful e-cigs are. Once I’d deleted my first response, I re-wrote my reply offering an urgent meeting to provide an up-to-date picture of how important these devices could be for reducing smoking rates among their service users, where whole families of smokers could be introduced to harm reduction through vaping.

I also emphasise, when talking to these audiences, that this is about choice. We still offer all the licensed products that are available, but we now have the options to work with people who want to use their own e-cigs. We can’t supply these, but our E-cig Insight Scheme allows us to give a voucher as a thank-you to those who stop smoking using e-cigs, if they promise to participate in our evaluation at 6 and 12 months.

The other aspect of this that has kept me busy has been the enquiries from other stop smoking service managers who can see the potential of going down this route, and want to know how we set it up.

It’s early days yet, but I hope that by No Smoking Day 2015, many more stop smoking services will be offering a similar package. This could be another step towards truly making smoking history.


8 thoughts on “This is about choice.

    • From across the pond, excuse me. First I’d like to say, I am in favor of Electronic Cigarettes and yes they will replace smoking but not if their shoved down people throats via threats and castagation tactics, worse yet the TPD who has doctored the dose of nicotine, that would make vaping unsatisfying. I am a 100% involved with advocacy for promoting the usage of all electronic cigarettes and they don’t need promotion, they work by smokers socializing with smokers who change over to vaping and share openly how great it is to save money and save their lives too. I own nothing, I am not involved financially in any manner with sales of Electronic Cigarettes. I am a member of the Vaping Militia and (Consumer Activists For Safer Alternatives Association). I realise that our governments operate differently. Socialised medicine may be a whole other animal, as to what we are fighting to maintain here in the USA that being the freedom of choice, even if the choice is to smoke, drink or eat the wrong foods and not exercise enough. I was attracted to vaping in May 2010. That is almost 4 years and in this time as an advocate, I have socially connected with vapers all over the world, but in the United States millions at least 4 million vapers have quit smoking voluntarily by their own idea and their own choice. Smoking bans, and criminalisation of smokers has not played a role in why people have turned to vaping. economics mostly, the cost of the taxation is tatamount to a war crime. If it is ever truly exposed that Governments have systematically lied and have supported lies about 2nd hand smoke in order to tax, demonize, ostracize, and now penalise smokers, one particular consumer group so very very unfairly and too such a degree that it’s the governments that are criminal and have spread fears, false science to the populations and have effectively created a hate campaign against people enjoying their emancipated status of freedom as adults. You seem to have the idea, that Electronic Cigarettes don’t sell themselves, well how can they, when the EU conveniently has banned advertising for them, and usage bans on where to use Electronic Cigarettes. Big Pharma needs to shrink I realize thats heiracy, blasphemy for the simple reasoning, why do health professionals think that people like health professionals in their lives so much (TOO much) eh? While the move to de-normalisation of smoking is the loud trumphet call of the Tobacco Control Zealots, why do you behave so contradictory to you purpose and while de-normalising smoking you replacing it by normalising illness and the need for dependency on Public Health? Adults like to feel like the masters of their own lives, whether anyone else approves as long as it hurts no one else and SECOND HAND SMOKE will be judged someday soon we will see to it as non-science, lies a propoganda billion dollar criminal act performed by those who profitted from it! I hope not to insult, demean or hurt anyone, it is my intention to point out the wolf in sheeps clothing.

      • Do you chase the dream or face reality?We can’t win a full-frontal battle against TC – it’s pea-shooters against tanks.Getting into the tanks and oersuading them to change course might yield real results.

  1. Pingback: This is about choice. | artbylisabelle

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  3. Interestingly the original post about the smoking cessation clinic in Leicester using e-cigs HAD DISAPPEARED FROM 38Degrees.
    WHAT’S GOING ON.?!!!!

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