The uptake and demand for stop smoking services underlines and re-affirms VPZ’s recent calls for vaping stores to be classed as an essential retailer during the Pandemic.
Doug Mutter, the Director of VPZ said: “We are investing to help smokers quit and to support the country in its ambition to be a tobacco free nation by 2030.”
VPZ, the UK’s largest vaping retailer, has announced that it is launching the first ever ‘Vape Clinic’ to meet the growing demand for stop smoking services.
Following over a year of having no NHS stop smoking services available, the company has been inundated with smokers looking to quit since reopening its full estate of stores on 26 April.
The vaping specialist has seen a huge demand for New to Vaping (NTV) kits since it reopened its 150+ UK stores, with an unprecedented demand for NTV kits in the first week.
With access to local stop smoking services and vaping retailers massively reduced during Lockdown, thousands of smokers have been left without any services to help them quit.
Since re-opening its stores to bring customers a COVID-secure retail experience, VPZ has faced record demand from smokers looking for expert advice and personalised support to help them make the switch.
To meet demand and continue providing trusted knowledge and advice to customers, it is launching a new vape clinic concept to create a network of ‘Smoking Cessation Coaches’ across its UK store footprint, further enhancing the level of customer service and expert advice to its customer base.
The investment and recruitment drive are part of VPZ’s commitment to play its part in helping the UK achieve its ambitions to be a tobacco-free nation by 2030, set out by the Government in 2017.
Doug Mutter added: “VPZ is the UK’s leading vaping specialist and we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking.
“We are excited to be launching the Vape Clinic concept following strong demand and recognising the need for an enhanced level of service since reopening our doors.
“The huge reduction in NHS stop-smoking services, through COVID-19 and local authority cuts have been devastating in the country’s efforts to reduce smoking rates.
“Couple this with the fact that vape stores were deemed unessential has meant that rather than 2020 being the year the country makes massive strides in reducing the number of smokers - we have actually seen an increase and lost huge momentum in the UK’s ambitions to be smoke-free by 2030.
“Smoking rates and consumption are on the rise and there is a real fear that we are sleepwalking into another public health crisis, which really underlines our continued calls for the government to engage with us in relation to vaping stores to be listed as essential retailers.”
In 2020, a VPZ consumer survey found:
- 25% of people said they were unable to buy their vaping products because of store closures.
- 26% of smokers said they has increased the number of cigarettes they smoked during lockdown, highlighting a growing concern that smoking rates continue to rise in the UK.
- 65% of people claimed they received no advice during lockdown of the best ways to quit smoking, through either NHS or online resources.
- 58% of people said they did not feel healthier coming out of the initial lockdown, adding to the health effects of the crisis.
- 45% of people said their mental health was affected during the lockdown, something with proven causality to smoking rates amongst adults.
Recent data from VPZ has shown that smoking rates have increased, but most worryingly, is the amount of cigarettes smokers are consuming has also increased.
In the first week since re-opening following the relaxation of Lockdown measures, the company has experienced a 165 per cent rise in New to Vaping kit sales.
Doug continued: “We had expected to see a rise in smokers coming forward looking for help and guidance, but the scale and demand has been huge.
“Our new Vape Clinic concept which is planned to be available in selected stores across the estate is an investment to fill the void left by the loss of local NHS stop smoking services.
“Our specialists are trained and have expert knowledge, giving our customers a dedicated one-to-one consultation to help smokers begin their quit journey.
“They work to the needs of the customer, giving them the expert advice and access to quality vaping products which are proven to be the most effective way to quit smoking.
“Our customers keep telling us this personalised service makes us different from other smoking cessation options and we are committed to helping more people make the switch to support the UK in its ambitions to be smoke-free by 2030.”
- VPZ – https://vpz.co.uk/