One of the devastating implications of the health inequality suffered by our service users is that they get life limiting chronic conditions - asthma, diabetes, hypertension and obesity - at such a young age; people between the ages of 15 and 34 who have severe mental illness are FIVE times more likely to have three or more physical health conditions.
Which is why it is so important that we help them to minimise the harm caused by smoking - which is where vaping comes in.
Electronic cigarettes are 95% safer than normal cigarettes and can be used both to help quit and as a much safer substitute for those who don't feel they can stop smoking completely. There is no evidence that they encourage anybody, including young people, to start smoking.
So ELFT wants to encourage patients and staff to swap to e-cigarettes. With some limitations, we allow vaping in our buildings and grounds, and we sell e-cigarettes at the Cafe in the Newham Centre for Mental Health and the John Howard Centre shop (ELFT's Regional Forensic Unit).
The main thing is to get people off cigarettes. It is the single most important thing we can do to start to help people to address physical health issues, and ultimately, improve the health of their wallets and purses too.< body>< body>< body>< body>< body>