Charities for the homeless and local authorities have joined forces with the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) to provide vape products to homeless smokers across London in order to safeguard against the risk of them contracting coronavirus.
This coordinated action to supply some 4,000 starter vape kits, including devices and e-liquids, has supported three London based homeless charities and two London councils. Devices will be handed out to homeless smokers which they have temporarily accommodated across the capital during the Coronavirus outbreak. The action follows concerns by the charities and the Councils that homeless smokers were congregating outside their accommodation and getting too close to each other.
Catherine Parsons, Director of Operations at Thames Reach – one of the charities involved, commented: “Moving into accommodation from the streets is a real opportunity for rough sleepers to make positive changes in their lives, including improving their physical health. The donation of e-cigarettes has been really supportive and enabled people to reduce the harm associated with smoking cigarettes.”
John Dunne, a director at the UK Vaping Industry Association, added: “We were delighted to mobilise our membership and the wider industry to help the charities and Councils to address their concerns related to smoking outside.
“Those who find themselves homeless at anytime desperately need protection. Never has this been more the case than now, with a deadly virus that is indiscriminatory. It is truly moving to see communities come together during this crisis, lending support to one and other in any way they can.”