“Vapers are fast becoming the forgotten three million in the UK” - Doug Mutter
Vapers in the UK are being asked 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 showed 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 local retailer VPZ(1) has said ‘we need action now’. The petition(2) which is calling on the Government to ‘Consider urgent action to grant specialist vape retailers essential status’.
Doug Mutter of VPZ who launched the petition said, “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.
“We 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.”
The comments and petition comes as Public Health England has doubled down on its commitment to vaping with its new report. The report found that vaping Data from systematic reviews since PHE’s 2018 report show that vaping products were significantly more effective for helping people stop smoking than NRT but also crucially that vaping prevalence is decrease because for false media reporting.
“We are not underestimating the impact of Covid-19 on our community, nor are we asking for a return to normal. 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,” continued Doug.
“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.”