Hospitals open vaping shops in attempt to help smokers quit

Two UK NHS hospitals in the West Midlands have opened shops selling e-cigarettes in a bid to help eliminate smoking

The vape shops, run by Ecigwizard, sell products with names including Jubbly Bubbly and Brain Freeze.

The shops can be found at the Sandwell General Hospital, in West Bromwich, and Birmingham City Hospital, both of which are run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust approved the stores’ opening come amid a clampdown on smoking on hospital grounds.

Security cameras are also being used to police smoking, with people being issued £50 fines since July 5 if they light up on the premises.

Using e-cigarettes outside is allowed, provided it takes place away from doorways, while smoking shelters have been converted into vaping areas.

The trust’s medical director Dr David Carruthers said his organisation’s board and clinical leaders agreed that the eradication of passive smoking on its sites was a public health necessity.

‘Every alternative is available and we ask visitors and patients to work with us to enforce these changes,’ he commented.

‘Giving up smoking saves you money and saves your health’.

Ecigwizard’s head of retail Joe Lucas said his company was ‘incredibly happy’ to support the trust’s smoke-free status.

‘We are keen to offer vaping as an alternative to smoking, as a means to help people cut down or quit,’ he added.

E-cigarette use continues to rise, with 6.3% of British adults vaping in 2018, up from 5.5%t the previous year, according to figures analysed by NHS Digital earlier this month.

Just over half (51.5%) of those vaping said they did so to help them quit smoking.

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