Government to give away vapes to millions of Britons, and money to pregnant women to promote ‘Smoke-Free’ Britain

To encourage Britons to quit smoking, one million smokers will be given a free vaping starter kit.

Pregnant women will also be offered up to £400 to quit smoking as part of a package of measures unveiled by the government in England on Tuesday.

A consultation will be launched to compel cigarette manufacturers to include quitting advice inside packs.

The government has pledged to reduce smoking rates in England to less than 5% by 2030.

There will also be a crackdown on underage and illegal vape sales.

According to the government, nearly one in every five smokers in England will receive a kit as well as behavioural support.

In a speech on Tuesday, health minister Neil O’Brien is expected to say the free vape policy – dubbed “swap to stop” – is the first of its kind in the world.

“Up to two out of three lifelong smokers will die from smoking. Cigarettes are the only product on sale which will kill you if used correctly,” he will say.

It is estimated that 9% of pregnant women in England still smoke, and the government claims that local trials show that financial incentives and behavioural support can be effective.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated that details on how this scheme will work will be released “in due course.”

Local governments are being invited to participate in the first wave of free vape policy areas before a larger national scheme is rolled out over the next two years.

Officials estimate it will cost around £45 million and will be funded by the health department but administered by local governments.

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According to NHS data released last year, 9% of secondary school students use a vape regularly or occasionally, including nearly one in every five 15-year-olds.

The government announced earlier this week the formation of a new trading standards enforcement squad to combat the illegal sale of vapes to minors.