An Ilkeston doctor who opened an e-cigarette store next to his surgery in a bid to help smokers quit says it has been a big hit in the town.
Dr John Ashcroft, of The Old Station Surgery on Heanor Road, opened his shop, Dr Smokeless, last October in an empty solicitors’ office attached to the surgery.
Since then it has seen an increasing amount of interest, with the GP striving to persuade all of his patients who smoke to vaporise instead.
Dr Ashcroft is convinced the health benefits of the substitution are vast.
He told the Advertiser: “What a lot of people don’t know is that it’s not the nicotine that’s bad for you, it’s the tar and carbon monoxide.”
Proven side-effects of inhaling cigarette smoke include heart disease and lung cancer. Around 43,500 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK last year, that’s 120 people every day.
He added: “Vaporising is a dramatically safer way of taking nicotine.”
Dr Ashcroft has been practising in Ilkeston for almost 22 years and hopes that the safer alternative will continue to spread.
“I think the idea of vaporising has caught on particularly well here - we know that nationally about 2 million of the 10 million smokers out there have been using e-cigarettes - and this is probably even higher locally,” he said.
E-cigarettes are made using safer ingredients such as vegetable glycerin mixed with nicotine and flavourings.
“Essentially they do give a very good hit for people. Many will find it’s just like smoking - but better,” said the doctor.
The cost of switching to e-cigarettes is also beneficial. A good model costs around £20 initially, then £2.50 a week - a cheap alternative to the £70 some people may spend weekly on packets of cigarettes.
“What I want is for everyone to use these and stop smoking,” he said.