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Stoptober: Ex-Chain Smoker ‘Saved NHS £500k by Donating E-Cigarettes’

By Caroline Barry 1st October 2020 3 Mins


A former 50-a-day smoker claims to have saved the NHS almost £500,000 by donating old e-cigarettes to smokers to help them quit.

Richard Pruen, 48, approaches smokers to talk to them about quitting smoking and switching to e-cigarettes, he explained ahead of the launch of this year’s Stoptober campaign.

If they show an interest, then he offers them one of his old devices.

Richard, who currently uses a Vaporesso GEN S, claims he has helped 25 people quit this way.

The average smoker costs society roughly £1,900 per year which means he has potentially helped to save £475,000.

He said:

“I have tried to do my part. I believe supporting vaping is a net gain for public health. I’m glad to have helped people save their lives.”

Richard smoked cigarettes for nearly 30 years before the smoking ban forced him to smoke in his work van.

He says without the vape, he would certainly revert back to smoking.

Although he never planned to quit cigarettes initially, he found he had cut down to just five cigarettes a day.

He has now reduced his nicotine intake from 18mg to 3mg using his device only when he wants a cigarette, about twice a week. 

Richard believes that the negative press around e-cigarettes is putting smokers off switching.

However, his late father’s experience showed him just how harmful continuing to smoke can be.

He said:

“My father died of cancer. He was a fireman so there was an exposure to smoke but he smoked for most of his life so cigarettes probably had a lot to do with him getting cancer and dying at 70.

Since quitting smoking and switching to e-cigarettes, Richard said that he can taste food again and can enjoy the smell of freshly-cut grass

Meanwhile, his lungs give no indication that he used to be a smoker, Richard’s doctor told him.

Switching has also saved the NHS further money as Richard no longer requires a flu jab because he’s no longer considered asthmatic.

He said:

“Vaping seems to have had no effect on my lung capacity. Because of my asthma my chest muscles are more developed and because I don’t suffer any more I’m now better off than normal.

“I used to use an inhaler every day and I haven’t had an asthma attack since 2009.”

Interested in more Stoptober-related news or maybe you’re looking to quit smoking? Take a look at this year’s Stoptober campaign.

Story Source: Daily Star

Image Source: Twitter



About this author

Caroline Barry

Caroline Barry is an experienced journalist across multiple sectors and hails from Clonakilty in Ireland. Her journalism focuses on CBD, medical cannabis, vaping, LGBT+ rights and culture. She is currently working on her first non-fiction book about growing up gay with ADHD in rural Ireland. Caroline is currently based in Nottingham, England with her small black cat.