Sign the petition calling for stronger support for specialist vape stores during lockdown
Recent Public Health England reports have stated that vaping is better than nicotine replacement therapy for stopping smoking. Sadly, however, despite vaping being such a key tool for smokers looking to make the switch from traditional cigarettes, specialist vape stores are still not classed as Essential Retailers. Research shows 25% of people said they were unable to buy their vaping products because of store closures and 26% of smokers said they had increased the number of cigarettes they smoked during lockdown!
Director of VPZ, Doug Mutter said “Vapers are fast becoming the forgotten three million in the UK”
That’s why we’re asking you, vapers of the UK, to sign a petition call for the Government to place vape shops as essential retailers and be allowed to operate under restrictions during lockdown.
The move comes as research has shown 1 in 4 vapers said they could not purchase their usual vaping products because of the store closures.
Smoking rates in the UK have spiked since the initial lockdown in March 2020, and we need action now!
The petition which is calling on the Government to ‘Consider urgent action to grant specialist vape retailers essential status’.
We are seeing a considerable rise in not just the number of smokers in the UK, but also in the number of cigarettes they are smoking each day.
VPZ have raised these issues a number of times with politicians and Government officials but there seems to be a complacency about how much smoking has grown in the last year.
NHS stop smoking services have been closed for nearly a full year now and with vape stores closed, we have tens of thousands of vapers who have had no help in quitting smoking whatsoever. The lockdown has created an environment where smoking has been allowed to grow considerably and whilst this was inadvertent in the beginning, we can no longer simply ignore the evidence in front of us. Vape stores being closed, having no stop smoking services and cigarette availability has never been higher.
We are not underestimating the impact of Covid-19 on our community, nor are we asking for a return to normal however, Click-and-collect services, appointment only operations, or only one customer in the store at a single time- there are a number of safe and appropriate solutions to help vapers, but we aren’t seeing sufficient movement towards any action.
That is why we have launched this industry wide petition so that we, as a country, do not sleepwalk out of one public health crisis into another.
Vapers are fast becoming the forgotten three million and we need urgent engagement and action from Government at all levels to help smokers quit for good.
The petition can be signed here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/574108
VPZ’s industry research showed that (September 2020):
- 25% of people said they were unable to buy their vaping products because of store closures.
- 26% of smokers said they has increased the number of cigarettes they smoked during lockdown, highlighting a growing concern that smoking rates continue to rise in the UK.
- 65% of people claimed they received no advice during lockdown of the best ways to quit smoking, through either NHS or online resources.
- 58% of people said they did not feel healthier coming out of the initial lockdown, adding to the health effects of the crisis.
- 45% of people said their mental health was affected during the lockdown, something with proven causality to smoking rates amongst adults.