Wednesday is 'National No Smoking Day'
Smokers across Yorkshire are being urged to quit with the help of e-cigarettes as part of a campaign announced by Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Launched to coincide with 'National No Smoking Day', the 'Vape to Quit' campaign will also call for workplaces to go smoke-free by banning smoking on the premises and replacing smoking areas with designated vaping areas.
Healthcare professionals working in the region will be encouraged to support smokers who choose to quit by vaping.
Yorkshire Cancer Research is backing the latest evidence published by Public Health England in February, which states that vaping with e-cigarettes is at least 95% safer than smoking, and that e-cigarette vapour does not harm bystanders.
E-cigarettes have become the most popular stop smoking aid, and people who use them with the help of local stop smoking services are more likely to quit successfully.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: "We have reviewed the evidence and concluded that smokers should be encouraged to try vaping as a tool to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are not entirely risk-free, but when compared to tobacco cigarettes they are significantly safer - there is no question about it - and we know that they are effective in reducing smoking rates.
"E-cigarettes are still quite new, and their long-term impact needs more research. But half of all long-term smokers will die as a result of their smoking if they don't quit. Action needs to be taken now. We can't afford to wait while the health of hundreds of thousands of people across Yorkshire continues to be harmed from tobacco smoke."
Smoking is the leading cause of early death in Yorkshire. The county has the highest smoking rate in England, with an estimated 750,000 smokers living in the region. Smoking is responsible for 16 different types of cancer, including 86% of lung cancers, 37% of bladder cancers and 23% of liver cancers.