Following research indicating that financial incentives would encourage pregnant women to quit smoking, Lambeth Council in South London is launching a scheme estimated to save parents approximately £2,000 a year.
Research conducted last year had suggested that financial incentives would encourage pregnant women to quit smoking. The this effect, the NHS had launched a guidance, which estimated that for every 1,000 pregnant women offered vouchers, 177 would stop smoking. “Evidence from the UK showed that schemes in which a maximum of around £400 could be gained in vouchers staggered over time (with reductions for each relapse made) were effective and cost effective.”
The guidance, had highlighted that women should undergo biochemical tests to prove that they have stopped smoking before receiving the vouchers. Moreover, it added, healthcare staff should give clear and up-to-date information regarding e-cigarettes to anyone interested in using them to quit smoking, whilst mentioning that their long-term health effects are still uncertain.
Subsequently, a pilot program was launched in East Cheshire situated in North West of England. The location was chosen as it has an above than the national average smoking rate, with 10% of pregnant residents continuing to smoke.
Vape vouchers worth up to £400
On the other hand, Lambeth council is planning on helping pregnant women save thousands of pounds by giving out vouchers worth up to £400 (almost $500) that they can spend on vapes. Over 3,000 Lambeth families struggle financially due to their smoking habits, according to council estimates.
“The council is soon to start providing free vape products, as part of the stop smoking service, to smokers who are pregnant and/or are carers of young children,” said Cllr Kind, cabinet member for children and young people. “This is aimed at improving the health of the family and saving money in the process of approximately £2,000 per year per family. It is estimated that over 3,000 households in Lambeth fall under the poverty line due to smoking and many of these households include children.”
Vapes can be prescribed for smoking cessation
Meanwhile last October, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency published a guidance stating that any approved vaping products, will be made available for doctors to prescribe. “This country continues to be a global leader on healthcare, whether it’s our Covid-19 vaccine rollout or our innovative public health measures reducing people’s risk of serious illness,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
“Opening the door to a licensed e-cigarette prescribed on the NHS has the potential to tackle the stark disparities in smoking rates across the country, helping people to stop smoking wherever they live and whatever their background,” added Javid, who has in recent weeks been criticized for suggesting a smoking ban outside pubs and restaurants.