Over 2,000 vape shops across the UK have been preparing to reopen their doors to customers again ever since the Government confirmed the next stage of lifting lockdown restrictions would proceed as previously announced. Non-essential retail outlets including vape shops were able to reopen their doors from today across England and Wales. In Scotland however, non-essential retail must remain shut until Monday, April 26.
The UKVIA (1) has stated it welcomes the relaxing of restrictions as the latest step on the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, especially as this coincides with the hugely successful, month-long awareness campaign VApril (2).
Run by the UKVIA and now in its fourth year, VApril aims to help educate smokers on how to successfully quit conventional cigarettes by transitioning to vaping.
This year’s VApril campaign kickstarted with a webinar (3) featuring leading industry experts including UKVIA Director General John Dunne, APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) for Vaping Chair Mark Pawsey MP, Global Legal and Regulatory Strategist at Andina Gold Corp Patricia Kovacevic and former Director of Action on Smoking and Health Clive Bates.
John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA, said: “The closure of retail outlets has been especially difficult for some users of vaping products who have struggled to get hold of equipment and advice that they needed and who might well have returned to smoking over the past few months. I am so pleased that the wider vape retail sector in England and Wales is now able to reopen its shop doors on Monday 12th April and begin trading again.”
He added: “Given the evidence that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking according to Public Health England (PHE), it is vital that smokers are now given all the advice they need on making the switch from smoking both in store and using online advice including the VApril website.”
Doug Mutter, Director at VPZ (4) said: “We are delighted to have our stores reopen after another lengthy lockdown. From the click and collect services alone, we have already seen a huge number of smokers coming forward looking for advice and guidance on their quit journey.
“It has been over a year now that smokers have been struggling with getting expert advice and the selection of products they need from specialist retailers. Vaping retailers have been the last remaining service where people can get help and advice on how best to quit smoking, so we are fully expecting a very busy couple of months.
“We are fully committed to achieving a tobacco free country by 2030 and, with our expert staff now able to open back up the stores, we are ready to help any smoker make the switch.”
Dan Greenall, Managing Director at Oxford Vapours (5) said: “We are so pleased to be able to give the service we are renowned for to our local customers once again. Like many other businesses, despite managing to stay afloat during the past 12 months we have seen a huge drop in aiding smokers on their journey to switching to a less harmful alternatives.
“Vaping is personal and guidance is essential to ensure a successful switch attempt. Education through bricks and mortar retail is the best way to help people looking to make a switch to the less harmful alternative.
“This couldn’t have come at a better time for smokers looking to quit with the UKVIA recently launching VApril 2021 – a dedicated educational campaign to help inform adult smokers of the options available to them and to support those wanting to switch on to vaping.
“Now we can reopen our stores we are truly able help people make the switch and support the Government’s efforts for a smokefree England by 2030.”
- The UK Vaping Industry Association - https://www.ukvia.co.uk/
- VApril - http://www.vapril.org/
- UKVIA’s VApril Webinar - https://www.planetofthevapes.co.uk/news/vaping-news/2021-04-08_ukvia-s-vapril-webinar.html
- VPZ - https://vpz.co.uk/
- Oxford Vapours - https://oxfordvapours.com/