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The new ‘swap to stop’ scheme will offer one million smokers in Britain the chance to kick the habit. Pregnant women will also be offered financial incentives to help them quit

In April, the UK government announced a nationwide scheme to encourage smokers to switch to vaping as part of its ambition to be smokefree by 2030. The ‘swap to stop’ scheme will provide almost 1 in 5 smokers with a vape starter kit alongside behavioural support and pregnant women are to be offered vouchers and extra support to help them kick the habit.

With a number of countries working on their own similar programmes and governments around the world waking up to vaping as a way to help smokers quit, the perception of electronic cigarettes in the UAE, KSA and Egypt has been found to still have negative connotations.

A recent study published by CARMA, a global provider of media intelligence solutions, in association with RELX, a leading multinational electronic cigarettes company, found that in the countries mentioned (UAE, KSA and Egypt), there is still a negative perception of vaping largely portrayed by the media. In these regions coverage tends to focus on the side effects of e-cigarettes and the benefits of vaping to the stop smoking movement are not widely reported.

In the study, 70% of respondents who were adult cigarette smokers said they wanted to quit, with many having already tried and failed. Furthermore, 83% of the smokers surveyed who had already switched to vaping, said that they would be unlikely to go back to smoking traditional cigarettes.

While top tier media outlets and conversations on social media tend to support various governments’ positions on e-cigarettes, 88% of respondents said that health warnings issued by ministries do not affect their smoking habits and 61% had considered making the switch to vaping.

This latest announcement by the UK government could influence many other countries to follow suit; a move which would be welcomed by advocates of using vaping as a way to wean off cigarettes, but there are still great hurdles ahead. RELX International is one of the companies who is leading the way in education and advocacy around vaping with various pillars in place to ensure their products are used responsibly by the right people at the right time.

Youth prevention is an integral part of RELX International’s mission and the introduction of the Guardian Program - an initiative that stretches from product development all the way through to sales - prevents and discourages the use of vape products by minors through joint efforts with retailers to step up on-site identification.

The company is also laser-focused on producing high quality products using the best tried and tested ingredients, and is committed to advanced research with five purpose-built laboratories and a cutting-edge research and development centre.

Robert Naouss, External Affairs Director – MENA & Europe at RELX International said; “The new initiative by the UK government is a huge breakthrough in the bid to stop the harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. Using an evidence-based, science-led approach, they have been able to come up with a plan which reinforces what we at RELX International continue to advocate in the MENA region and beyond – and that is that vaping is the best and most effective method for people looking to quit smoking.

“We now hope other countries and governments will follow suit and we at RELX can continue to help educate people on the benefits of switching to vaping over smoking traditional cigarettes.”


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