The U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is calling on the government to reconsider classifying vape shops as essential retail, as parts of the U.K. enter restrictions under tier 4 and with potential lockdowns following in the new year.
“It’s not just about providing a lifeline to vape businesses but also to vapers and smokers for whom vaping represents a life changing decision, especially at this time of year,” said John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, in a statement.
“As smokers make New Year resolutions, we should remember that earlier this year Public Health England acknowledged the contribution played by vaping in helping smokers quit and the Royal College of Physicians has found that e-cigarettes are effective in helping people to stop smoking. Recent research has again highlighted that vape products are much more effective than NRTs [nicotine-replacement therapies] in helping smokers give up.”
Dunne said that vape retail stores are well equipped to be COVID compliant. “Our stores do not deal with the high volumes of traffic like other outlets and are easily able to control the number of customers in a store at any one time,” he said.
“We want to make sure that smokers who might be aiming to quit in the New Year, and those who already vape, can continue to gain access to vape devices, e-liquids, and specialist advice that our members can offer.”