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Vape Stores

Challenges to new vape stores go beyond the Tobacco Products Directive.

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The implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive has brought a number of challenges to existing vape businesses and placed barriers up for those looking to enter the market. But, challenges also come from misinformed members of the public contacting the local media.

“The town of Brighton faces a new and unexpected challenge to its residents: the opening of a vapour store,” writes Greg Lewis. Although it’s not quite the sight of four horsemen galloping into view, Lewis is scared and would like everybody else to be in fear too.

Just in case you have no idea what this den of inequity is, Greg explains: “Vape stores, as they’re known, sell products that enable customers to ingest nicotine through vapour rather than through smoking cigarettes. Vape stores also sell nicotine products for use with their equipment, and customers can ‘taste’ nicotine in the store before they buy it.” Yep, customers can taste the nicotine so it might be worth asking your local friendly B&M next time you’re there.

These stores are nothing more than purveyors or danger apparently: “Chemicals in e-cigarettes can damage lung tissue and reduce the lungs’ ability to keep germs and other harmful substances from entering the body, studies have found. The flavored e-cig liquids can do their own damage. And the lungs — not to mention the young brain — may be particularly vulnerable to nicotine’s effects.”

What do you mean that these don’t sound like legitimate concerns from an average member of the public? Surely you can’t be thinking that Greg is nothing more than a pharmaceutical shill? Shame on you.

There was no such letter in the local Burton newspaper. There was, on the other hand, a delightful piece covering the opening of a new bricks and mortar store. Founded by two 30 a day ex-smokers, Burton-on-Trent’s Ecig Emporium is spreading the word of the healthier alternative to smoking.

Graham Edkins received a diagnosis of throat cancer two years ago, Dr Robert Lees was a cancer researcher – and now the pair of them run a new vape store. The shop has (appropriately) taken over from the tobacconists that used to operate from the building. Edkins told the paper about how, when in the terminal ward, he stank of cigarette smoke and watched others inhaling through the holes in their tracheas.

It all changed the moment he took up vaping in his attempt to finally kick the weed. Electronic cigarettes also helped to move Dr Lees away from his addiction. The pair met in another vape store and became friends, and on to them planning their own business venture.

Graham told the Mail: “It sounds stupid to say that I smoked when I had throat cancer, but of the people who have it, about 40 per cent of them are still smokers. That just illustrates how difficult it is to quit – it's as addictive as heroin. E-cigarettes were just coming on the market then, in 2003, but when I got an e-cigarette that was it.”

Robert added: “We had one family all stop together – four kids, all on a packet a day. Dad was on 30 a day and so was mum. They did the usual putting the money they saved in a tin, but within a week they said this isn't good enough, we need a bank account. Within a few weeks they had booked a holiday. They were spending more on cigarettes than they were on the mortgage.”

POTV wishes Robert and Graham the very best of luck.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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