Livingston Football Club announced a sponsorship partnership with Edinburgh-based vaping specialist VPZ last week. VPZ were recently ranked as Scotland’s fastest growing company. The announcement of the official vaping partner of the Almondvale club came during national vaping awareness month, VApril.
The vaping specialist, which has over 100 stores throughout the UK, is now forging ahead with ambitious growth plans to treble its store footprint to 300 in the UK by 2021, as it maintains its commitment of bringing consumers the widest range of quality approved products and access to specialist advisors through more available locations.
VPZ point out that vaping is emerging as a key weapon in the NHS’s stop smoking strategy.
Public Health England estimates that vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. Latest figures also show that approximately 2million people in the UK have already quit smoking by switching to vaping, with 500,000 more presently trying to switch. Furthermore, Cancer Research UK estimates that there are currently 9.4million smokers in the UK who can still potentially switch to vaping.
Doug Mutter, director at VPZ, said: “We are very excited to be launching our partnership with Livingston Football Club during VApril. Vaping represents a huge public health opportunity and our goal will be to engage with fans to help them make the switch and quit smoking for good.”
“Consumer education is crucial too and we will also be investing heavily in our people strategy to ensure our teams are equipped to help smokers understand the evidence based public health opportunity of vaping products so that their positive impact can be maximised.”
Livingston FC vice chairman Neil Hogarth said: “Livingston Football Club is delighted to collaborate with Edinburgh-based VPZ, and wholeheartedly support its campaign to reduce cigarette smoking during VApril.”
“Partnerships with local businesses are important to our club, and, if by working together, VPZ and Livingston FC can help NHS Scotland reach its target of reducing cigarette smoking, it will have been an extremely successful collaboration.”
The Scotsman reports that some fans are unhappy with the arrangement. It quotes one saying: “My concern though is that young impressionable supporters will take vaping up as their heroes are seen to be endorsing it now.”
A second is reported to have said: “They’ve not thought this through very well, as this is very much encouraging kids/younger people that vaping is okay. No one on the planet knows if it’s okay and no one will for decades, people used to think fags were fine for ages.”
VPZ announced its sponsorship of Hibernian Football Club in February.
- ONS report on e-cigarette and vaping use in the UK - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/datasets/ecigaretteuseingreatbritain
- Public Health England (PHE) report into e-cigarettes - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-publishes-independent-expert-e-cigarettes-evidence-review
- Hibs Sponsored By VPZ - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2019-02-25_hibs-sponsored-by-vpz.html