Mark Pawsey MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping, has called for vape stores to remain open during lockdown to safeguard public health. Mr Pawsey said:
“Given it’s vital role in smoking cessation, even when compared to NRT, the case for vaping’s essential status is growing ever stronger.
“Vape retailers do not just provide the tools for harm-reduction, but also the expert advice and support which empowers consumers to make a positive change. Now, more than ever, we should be safeguarding the country’s public health; vaping is an important part of that. Let’s support this sector, and all those who rely on it, by keeping vape stores open.”
The UKVIA has written to Government ministers to urge consideration of essential status for vape stores.
Director General of the UKVIA, John Dunne, said:
“I have seen first-hand how UK vaping has risen to every challenge this year, with new safety measures, business practises and routines; every option which allows us to aid consumers is explored. The passion for helping people in this industry is unrelenting, no smoker looking to quit is on their own
“However, with Government help we can do even more, because for many people the support of a face-to-face experience is vital. That is why I have written to Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP and Paul Scully MP at BEIS, as well Jo Churchill MP at the Department of Health and Social Care, to urge the Government to reconsider vaping’s status. I have reminded them that more than 200 people die in the UK every day from smoking related illness, and that harm-reduction alternative need our full support”.
Doug Mutter, Manufacturing and Compliance Director at the UKVIA member VPZ, said:
“Coming off the back of Stoptober, when many smokers will be continuing their efforts to quit cigarettes, it is vital vaping is not taken away from them.
“If the Government does not grant essential status to vaping the impact on sales from stores could be as much as 45%-50% down. That is a significant challenge for the entire sector, and an increasing concern for the high street. As people prepare for the busy Christmas shopping period – and hope to be back out in bricks and mortar stores – we don’t want a situation where the industry can’t respond and be there to provide the service that so many still need.”