Homeless people to get free e-cigarette starter packs to help them quit smoking

HOMELESS people will get free e-cigarette starter packs to try to help them quit smoking.

Hundreds of the £25 kits are being dished out as part of a trial.

Figures show that around 70 per cent of the homeless smoke, compared to the UK average of 14.1 per cent.

A National Institute for Health Research grant is funding a £1.7million study at 32 centres in London, the South East, the East of England, Scotland and Wales.

E-cig packs will be given to half of the 480 rough sleepers taking part.

The rest will be allocated to a care group.

Prof Caitlin Notley, from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, said: “We know that e-cigarettes are the most popular method of quitting smoking.”

Prof Lynne Dawkins, from London South Bank University, added: “In our earlier, smaller research trial, we found that e-cigarette starter kits worked well for participants.

“This is the first study of its kind in the world.

“If we find that providing free e-cigarette starter kits helps people to quit, homeless centres could adopt this approach in future.”

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