If quitting smoking feels impossible, vaping is a cheaper and healthier alternative.
While e-cigarette use isn’t without its own affects on people’s health, Leicester’s Stop Smoking Service actively encourages people struggling to kick a tobacco habit to try it.
And it proved surprisingly effective for hairdresser Lesley Heggs, who switched over five months ago and hasn’t gone back since.
Lesley, 43, whose salon NuYu is in Belvoir Street, Leicester, said: “I was smoking 15 to 20 cigarettes a day and my sister, who has been trying to get me to quit for ages, signed me up for the Stop Smoking Service.
“They got me on a vape and – while I’m still not telling people I’ve completely given up smoking – I haven’t had a cigarette since.
“It’s been five months and I haven’t looked back. It’s loads cheaper and each week I’m spending £60 less – that’s a big plus for me.”
Lesley started smoking when she was 14 and she said she eventually decided to kick the habit because she felt she’s been smoking for too long.
She said: “I’ve never really tried to quit before because I’m quite stubborn and I’ve always liked going outside to have a fag. But now I can still do that with vaping. And the other good thing is that if it’s raining and I don’t want to go outside I can vape in the basement at the salon instead.
“It’s never easy quitting smoking and I still like sitting near my friends when they’re smoking but so far I’ve made it since July without one.”
The number of smokers in Leicester has dropped by thousands over the past decade.
In 2007 more than 25 per cent of Leicester adults were regular smokers but the latest figures show this is down to less than 17 per cent.
The Stop Smoking Service in Leicester has a team of experts who will help smokers find the best way to quit and support them through it.