Swap to Stop Scheme. A World First.

What is the "Swap to Stop" Scheme?

Swap to Stop is an innovative scheme created by the UK Government to incentivise adult smokers to quit smoking traditional cigarettes by providing one million adult smokers with vaping devices.  

What is the end goal?

Described as a “world first” national scheme, it is believed that this is one of the important steps to helping achieve a smoke-free future for England by 2030, with an ambition to reduce the quantity of adult smokers to less than 5% within the next decade.  

Who is the "Swap to Stop" Scheme aimed at?

In addition to the Swap to Stop scheme providing roughly 1 out of 5 of all UK adult smokers with a vaping device, the Government are also working on ensuring pregnant women have the extra help they need to quit smoking by offering financial incentives to motivate smoke-free pregnancy for the safety of mother and child. It is hoped that by helping expectant mothers to quit smoking during pregnancy, it will reduce the number of babies being born underweight, underdeveloped, and unhealthy.  

Minister for Primary Care and Public Health has his say.

Health Minister Neil O’Brien commented on the matter “up to 2 out of 3 lifelong smokers will die from smoking. Cigarettes are the only product on sale which will kill you if used correctly” which gave us chills with this powerful statement. Addiction is such a harmful disease and comes in many shapes and forms; it’s debated regularly if smoking is the most addictive drugs due to the speed in which nicotine reaches the brain and releases dopamine in similar parts of the brain that substances like opioids do.  
Due to the habitual nature of smoking traditional cigarettes and how engrained it has become in our society over the last hundred years, more and more adults are struggling to quit with more traditional methods like NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) sprays, chewing gum, and medication because they do not recreate the experience of taking a quick smoke break during busy work days or the social elements of smoking in situations such as going out on the weekend with friends. Electronic cigarettes and vapes have been helping Britain quit smoking for many years now, with the NHS stating that two thirds of people that swap to vaping along with following expert advice successfully quit smoking.  

Recent Statistics look promising.

Whilst we have seen statistics improve for pregnant smokers in the UK, roughly 9% of expectant mothers continue to smoke throughout their pregnancy despite the risks to themselves and their unborn child. Carbon Monoxide in cigarette smoke starves the baby of oxygen by limiting what passes through the placenta, which causes complications such as the infant under-developing in the womb, premature births, miscarriages, and stillborn births. Electronic cigarettes do not produce Carbon Monoxide, which means making the swap from conventional cigarettes to an electronic one can eliminate these risks from CO completely. Whilst vaping is not completely risk-free, NHS Stop Smoking Services have shown that by eradicating Carbon Monoxide from the equation, mothers-to-be have far fewer risks for themselves and their children. It’s estimated that risk of miscarriage increases by 1% per 1 cigarette smoked each day, meaning that an expectant mother smoking a pack a day increases her chance of miscarriage by roughly 20%.   
The Government has helped tackle these figures and reduce them over the last couple of years through various stop smoking schemes, and they aim to continue bringing these figures down by offering pregnant women up to £400 to purchase a vaping device and top-ups such as E-Liquid that shall last them the duration of the pregnancy.   

TPD Regulations.

Along with these Government plans to help create a smokefree future, attention is also being focused on ensuring that adults quitting smoking have access to vaping products that follow the very strict guidelines under what is known as the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which assess the quality control of vaping hardware and e-liquids, as well as monitoring the nicotine content and ingredients used.  
TPD regulations ensure that the vaping products available to us have been made following all the necessary health and safety precautions, so you won’t find anything concerning on the ingredients list of any E-Liquids crafted under these rules.   

The Government will be working very closely with Trading Standards to help enforce regulations onto illicit vaping products to protect citizens from illegal and fake vapes which have been known to contain more nicotine than allowed in the UK as well as some containing dangerous substances not recommended for vaping. Illegal disposable vapes containing as much as 5% (50mg/ml) as well as more than 2ml of E-Liquid and more puffs than allowed have been seized in eye-watering quantities from corner shops, off-licenses, and pop-up vape shops all around the country, with raids confiscating the contraband which reportedly weigh literal tonnes due to the sheer quantity of illicit products.  

The crackdown on vaping through their “illicit vapes enforcement squad” will also include safeguarding children and minors by making sure that retailers/establishments are not selling products to those who are underage or those attempting to purchase on behalf of someone underage. Whilst the vast majority of reputable vape shops follow the Challenge 25 Policy to ensure that persons suspected to be under the age of 25 are asked to provide ID prior to service, the community and country are being let down by shady retailers not abiding by the law. NHS figures from 2021 showed that 9% of 11-15 year old children have tried a vape that they or their friends were able to purchase without being asked for ID; whilst in 2018 this statistic was at 6%. This drastic increase of children vaping has occurred in the last few years primarily due to the huge popularity of disposable vape pens, as they are for sale in most establishments ranging from small corner shops, to big supermarkets, and even featured on popular food delivery apps. It is of the utmost importance to help eliminate the number of children and minors that are smoking and vaping to ensure that our youth are protected from exposure to addiction at such a young age.  

Final thoughts.

The Swap to Stop Scheme aims to start by providing a million adult smokers in England with vaping starter kits and expert behavioral support to help positively reinforce healthy attitudes towards putting down the cigarettes for good. The NHS has been an advocate for vaping as an effective tool to help people quit smoking, with research showing that those who quit with the help of an electronic cigarette are more likely to succeed in recovery and remain smokefree than those that attempt to quit without one.  
The London Vape Company is incredibly proud of our British Government for starting up this fantastic Swap to Stop Scheme, as well as their commitment to helping pregnant women quit smoking to have a smokefree pregnancy, and in addition to their pledge for a smokefree Britain by 2030.  
We are looking forward to helping more people quit smoking for good with our wide range of TPD Compliant UK Regulated vaping products and providing excellent advice to our community of vapers.  
Wondering where to begin? Check out one of our guides to some of the best-selling vaping kits around, as well as our articles about starting your journey to stop smoking.