At least 16 NHS authorities in England are refusing to fund IVF treatment for e-cigarette users.

According to a survey carried out by the Daily Mail newspaper, these select clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) also refuse to approve NHS-funded IVF to those who are quitting smoking with the use of nicotine patches.

The results from the Mail on Sunday study come just days after Public Health England (PHE) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advised general practitioners to inform patients looking to quit that vaping is less harmful than smoking.

Research on vaping during pregnancy is scarce. While there is little evidence that vaping poses any harm to a foetus or unborn child, all ten clinics in the Greater Manchester area maintain a no e-cigarette or nicotine patch policy.

Of the 117 clinics that responded to the survey, 101 said they do not enforce restrictions when it comes to e-cigarettes, while some said they may change policies in the future.

The Daily Mail report says the survey results show a postcode lottery for such services has emerged.

Many CCGs already refuse IVF for smokers or obese people.