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What is the NHS Swap to Stop Smoking Service?

What is the NHS swap to stop smoking service?
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    A new NHS scheme is set to encourage one million smokers to swap cigarettes for vapes in a bid for the UK to become smoke-free by 2030. This is the latest scheme developed by the NHS stop smoking service to cut smoking rates and reduce smoking-related illnesses nationwide.

    As part of the swap-to-stop scheme, the stop smoking service will help smokers across the UK to stop smoking. Here’s how.

    What is the NHS stop-smoking service?

    The NHS stop smoking service is a government-backed service that supports smokers across the UK in kicking the habit. The stop smoking service is staffed by expert advisors who combine cessation tools and nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) with advice and support for smokers.

    What is the NHS swap-to-stop campaign?

    Led by the NHS stop smoking service, the swap-to-stop campaign is a nationwide initiative that encourages smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. As part of the scheme, one million smokers will receive a free vape starter kit and behavioural support to help them swap to stop.

    As part of the swap-to-stop scheme, pregnant women will receive vape vouchers as a financial incentive to swap to vaping. Mandatory informational inserts will also be placed within cigarette packets to educate smokers on the dangers of cigarettes and aid the swap.

    Following recent reports of illicit vape sales, the stop smoking service is also establishing stricter measures to prevent vaping from growing in popularity amongst non-smokers and young people.

    Vaping to quit smoking

    Hands using scissors to cut a cigarette in half

    There are several reasons why swapping to stop is one of the best ways to stop smoking.

    First and foremost, smoking poses serious health risks. Named one of the biggest causes of both death and illness in the UK, smoking causes more than 70,000 deaths every year. In contrast, Public Health England considers vaping to be 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

    Secondly, smoking is expensive. The cost of cigarettes can quickly add up, especially for heavy smokers. By switching to vaping, adult smokers save approximately £780 a year.

    Read more about What Happens When You Quit Smoking on our blog.

    Can the NHS help me stop smoking?

    According to Jennifer Percival, a representative for the NHS stop smoking service, the best way to stop smoking is to combine specialist support with cessation tools. She says:

    "Overall, you're up to 3 times more likely to stop smoking for good if you use a combination of stop smoking treatment and receive support from an NHS Stop Smoking Service.”

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    What does the NHS do for smoking cessation?

    The NHS stop smoking service offers a range of resources and support, including samples of alternative products, advice on how to use them and information on where to buy them.

    The stop smoking service also offers a range of online resources including a quit-smoking app which helps you track progress and stay motivated.

    Swap to stop is the latest initiative led by the national stop smoking service to encourage smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives to cigarettes. Ex-smokers taking part in the campaign will have the chance to try vaping with professional guidance and support to stop smoking for good.


    In 2012, the NHS stop smoking service launched a Quit Kit in over 7,000 pharmacies across England in a bid to reduce smoking. The kit included both advice and practical tools to help smokers stop smoking for good.

    In some ways, the swap-to-stop campaign is set to replace the former NHS Quit Kit. With £35 million allocated to tobacco treatment services, swap to stop is designed to reduce smoking rates to 5% or less.

    Advice and guidance from NHS stop smoking service representatives is free. In some cases, the stop smoking service can supply you with nicotine patches and other cessation aids at your first support session. The NHS stop smoking service can also provide prescriptions and vouchers to lower the cost. Find out more here.

    What’s more, the stop smoking service has a personalised guide to help ex-smokers in stopping smoking. A tailored stop-smoking plan based on your smoking habits, the guide supports adult smokers in kicking the habit for 28 days – at which point you’re five times more likely to quit for good! Click here to create your free plan.

    The swap-to-stop campaign marks significant progress in reducing both smoking and smoking-related illnesses. With over a decade in the vaping space, OK Vape helps smokers transition to less harmful alternatives through education, product development and dedicated support.

    Jon Martin, the Managing Director of OK Vape, said: "We know that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking, and we believe that it has the potential to help millions of people quit for good."

    The OK Vape product range includes a selection of beginner-friendly Vape Kits and Disposable Vapes that are designed to give adult smokers the best possible chance of stopping smoking.


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