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VPZ Challenges Government

VPZ challenges government on smoke free strategy as quit smoking rates in Scotland drops by half

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VPZ, the UK’s largest vaping retailer, has challenged the Scottish Government to implement a progressive vaping strategy as the number of Scots both quitting and attempting to quit smoking has fallen significantly, new figures show. Data from Public Health Scotland has revealed that between 2018/19 and 2021/22, the number of attempts to stop dropped from 51,115 to 23,503.

VPZ consumer survey from September 2020 found that among the 14,000 smokers served:

  • 25% of people said they were unable to buy their vaping products because of store closures.
  • 26% of smokers said they have 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.

The Pandemic has triggered an increase in smoking rates, the public health problem has been compounded by funding cuts to NHS stop smoking services and local support groups and vaping is leading the way as the most effective way to quit smoking.

VPZ has been implementing a number of initiatives to help more people quit smoking, including its Vape Clinic service. The Vape Clinic offers a personalised, one-to-one in-store vape clinic service with its trained staff using their expert knowledge to engage with smokers to educate them on the health and financial benefits of switching to vaping.

The vaping retailer is also taking its vape clinic on the road throughout the UK to further educate consumers and help them make the switch.

Doug Mutter, Director at VPZ, said: “These recent figures are alarming and show we are continuing to lose momentum on our 2034 Smoke Free ambitions.

“As the UK’s leading vaping specialist, we are spearheading the fight against the nation’s number one killer – smoking, and we have been continuously trying to engage with the government to no avail.

“This fall in quitting rates is a public health tragedy and we are currently set to miss our Smoke Free targets by at least two decades.

“The government needs to be faster and bolder to truly achieve a smoke-free society and also highlight the negative impact of smoking on the health and wealth of the nation.”

The Scottish Government has recently undergone a consultation on the promotion and advertisement of vaping products.

Doug Mutter added: “Vaping as highlighted in a recent commission by Dr Javed Khan will be fundamental to us working towards a smoke free generation.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the health of the nation and we have made continued efforts to engage and collaborate with health policy makers at the Scottish Government during the recent consultation, to no avail.

“These latest figures are damning and we need a bold and progressive approach where there is advertising to promote and educate on the public health benefits of vaping, as well as tighter controls and licensing for selling vaping products.

“We continue to reach out to health policy makers in the Scottish Government on this and welcome positive engagement and dialogue to help shape a strategy that will transform the health of the nation.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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