Pharmacies in Manchester will offer smokers a free four-week e-cigarette starter kit to help them make the switch.
The scheme is open to adult smokers in the Trafford area.
Smokers who enrol with the programme will also receive a consultation with a stop smoking adviser.
Ben Fryer, Public Health Registrar at Trafford Council who backed the scheme, said:
“While e-cigarettes contain nicotine, just like traditional nicotine patches and gums, they don’t produce the cancer-causing carcinogens that are produced by burning tobacco.
“As a result, Public Health England estimates that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than tobacco.
“E-cigarettes are recommended as one option to help people stop smoking by Public Health England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the medical royal colleges.”
The trial will run until the end of March at selected pharmacies in Old Trafford, Timperley, Partington, Urmston, Sale, Stretford and Hollowood.
Coun Judith Lloyd, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing at Trafford Council, said:
“One of the best things that anyone can do in 2019 to improve their health and wellbeing is to stop smoking.
“We are offering Trafford residents a free e-cigarette starter kit, with professional smoking cessation support to encourage people to stop smoking in 2019.
“If you currently smoke but would like to quit, and would like to try a free e-cigarette, please visit one the 6 pharmacies in Trafford who are offering this service before the end of March.”
There are around 393,000 smokers in the Greater Manchester area, according to Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) statistics.
The ‘Making Smoking History – A Tobacco Free Greater Manchester’ campaign aims to reduce smoking prevalence to 13 percent by 2020.