IBVTA says: “A rapidly changing situation such as the coronavirus outbreak calls for continued monitoring of the advice coming from Government and public health agencies. As the only trade association focused on the independent vape industry, we know that businesses have the safety of customers and staff at the forefront.”
It points out that Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs at Public Health England is quoted in the Evening Standard as saying: “Public Health England’s 2018 independent evidence review found that to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders. There is currently no evidence that coronavirus can be caught from exposure to e-cigarette vapour.”
In line with the latest Government advice designed to delay the spread of Covid-19, the IBVTA is issuing the following advice to its members:
- If stores are working with a local Stop Smoking Service and utilising Carbon Monoxide (CO2) monitors, use of these monitors should be suspended with immediate effect.
- Flavour testing stations should be suspended with immediate effect.
- Stores should suspend the use of demonstration devices with immediate effect.
- Stores should still allow the setup of devices for customers upon purchase, but be particularly careful to practice good hygiene.
- Stores may want to limit the number of customers inside the premises at any one time, if this is feasible. Make sure that this is communicated to customers appropriately.
- Ensure all staff wash their hands regularly, particularly upon arriving for the start of their shift and before and after taking breaks, visiting the bathroom, or handling food.
- All staff should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser after any contact that could lead to an infection, for example, holding a device that a customer has been handling.
- It is imperative that all counter tops are kept clean, and that door handles and other points of regular human contact within the store, staff kitchens and bathrooms are regularly cleaned with alcohol wipes or soapy water.
- Until further notice, external visitors to your business’s offices should not be invited onto your premises. Planned meetings should be cancelled or alternatively switched to other forms of communication such as Skype, or a free teleconferencing service, such as Zoom.
- Internal meetings should be kept to a minimum and conducted by phone or Skype. By maintaining as much segregation as possible, you are limiting the infection risk within your business.
- Deliveries and collections should be routed via a single point of contact at your premises. Any contact with drivers should be kept to a minimum and they should not enter your buildings.
- For larger businesses, non-retail staff should be encouraged to work from home, if this is feasible. When working from home staff must ensure that they take all necessary precautions to avoid unnecessary risk.