Starter E-Cigarette Packs To Be Handed Out At A&E For Smokers

A lengthy trial will see patients at five hospital accident and emergency departments get handed an e-cigarette starter kit to help encourage them to stop smoking.

The trial, funded by the National Institute of Health Research and undertaken by the University of East Anglia, will take place over 30 months at five major hospitals in the country.

These include the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the Royal London Hospital, Homerton University Hospital in London, Leicester Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Patients will be randomly assigned, and will either receive smoking advice whilst they are waiting to be seen, a starter pack containing a vaporiser and a referral to nearby stop smoking services, or written information showing which stop smoking services are available locally.

Afterwards, each group will be followed up on and asked if they are still smoking four weeks, three months and half a year after they attended the hospital.

The trial was in response to a report led by the University of Oxford which highlighted how vaping could help increase the number of people who quit smoking compared to gums and patches that form nicotine replacement therapy as well as e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine.

Because of the ease with which people can buy e-liquid online, giving smokers a way to mimic the act of smoking without a cigarette can be an attractive option for people who want to move away from smoking, even if they have failed with other methods in the past.

The trial will look into which methods work best and how much the scheme will cost to roll out to every hospital in the country.