Switch To Vaping To Earn Money
Switching from smoking to vaping saves you money – but plans are afoot that smokers could actually earn money by switching. Research has found that offering financial incentives led to greater rates of quitting cigarettes, and with vaping being the U.K.’s most popular form of cessation, making the switch could help your wallet as well as your health.
Research published by the Cochrane Library looked at over thirty trials from eight countries involving 21,000 smokers trying to quit cigarettes.
They discovered that the amount of money offered to encourage people to quit didn’t matter, increasing the reward didn’t change the number of people successfully quitting, but any level of payment made 50% more people give up.
The payments in the trial ranged from £35 to £912, paid either in the form of cash, vouchers or bank transfer. Opponents object to the idea of the NHS paying people to quit smoking but experts say that it would help to reduce the £13-billion cost that tobacco places on the health service and social care services.
Dr Caitlin Notley said: “In comparison to the total amount that the NHS has to set aside in the UK for smoking-related diseases, the cost of providing incentives is incredibly small in comparison. Incentives support people in the early stages of trying to quit smoking, which are the most difficult, and once people have made that health behaviour change and the incentives are removed, they’re more likely to stay abstinent from smoking in the longer term.”
Despite the positive findings, uptake on the idea has been very slow – until now.
Cheshire East Council’s Adults and Health Committee have announced that they have put forward a proposal to pay smokers £400 if they give up smoking, the first mainstream approach of its type in England.
As well as agreeing that people would be “approximately 50% more likely to have stopped
smoking than those who did not receive incentives”, the council also explained that “smoking cessation rates in pregnant women receiving an incentive are on average more than double that of control groups”, and “financial incentive schemes for smoking cessation deliver an estimated return on investment of £4 for every £1 invested.”
But how can they prove that people have given up smoking?
The ex-smokers would have to give regular exhaled carbon monoxide to prove they had given up and were remaining smoke-free – which is where vaping would really help.
Carbon monoxide is produced when the tobacco in a cigarette burns but there is no tobacco in e-liquid and nothing burns in an e-cigarette – there is no carbon monoxide. This means that quitters taking part in Cheshire’s reward programme will be able to make the switch to vaping, gain the health benefits from swapping, and be able to collect their reward.
Smokers in other parts of the country can also gain financially, as pointed out by Director of Public Health Dr Matt Tyrer: “Providing vouchers for relatively small sums of money to encourage people to quit smoking is highly cost-effective, because the long-term health benefits of quitting smoking are so great, along with the financial savings of more than £4,500 a year for someone who used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day.”