City of Etampes is giving free e-cigarettes to smokers
In honor of France’s tobacco-free month “Moi(s) sans Tabac,” the Hospital Center of South Esonne (CHSE) and the Vape du Coeur organization are partnering up. Both organizations recognize that the price of vaping is not always attractive enough to deter people from smoking. In fact, an e-cigarette costs 20-60 Euros, and related products (e-liquids and coils) cost around 30 Euros/month. The Vape du Coeur organization believes the price of vaping may deter some people from quitting tobacco, and has consequently partnered with the CHSEl, acquiring free e-cigarettes that can be provided to smokers with low incomes.
Free e-cigarettes will also be offered to pregnant women, the unemployed, young people under 25 years old, etc. Signing up for the initiative is simple, based on a questionnaire to determine each individual’s financial constraints. However, no further justification is necessary.
First step: interview with a tobacco addiction specialist
A presentation on how to use and operate e-cigarettes will be offered to all those who qualify. Afterwards, participants will meet a tobacco addiction specialist who will prescribe, if necessary, a nicotine substitute. According to the psychologist Blandine Tercero, there are three types of tobacco dependence: psychological, physical, and behavioral. Due to this, the addiction specialist must help patients identify their own form of addiction and offer strategies to cope with the weaning process. Although Blandine Tercero is aware that some patients are afraid of replacing their smoking dependence with vaping dependence, she remains confident that e-cigarettes can be used primarily as a tool to curb nicotine addiction altogether.
Currently, social security reimburses up to 150 Euros per year for the purchase of nicotine substitutes, but does not reimburse any vaping-related purchases. This is despite the fact that vaping has been proven to help people quit smoking. Blandine Tercero adds that it would be helpful to inform participants that the goal of the initiative is not to make participants dependent on vaping.
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