The UK vape industry must unite to tell the government that it has made a huge mistake in closing vape shops as the country enters its second lockdown.
Nigel Quine, the CEO of Cuts Ice, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister asking him to reconsider the decision to close vape shops in the new measures designed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
He said the ‘essential work’ carried out by the UK vape industry in helping smokers quit and stay off tobacco was now at risk as the nation enters yet another lockdown.
Now the company is calling on vape shop owners up and down the country to write to their local MPs to make their feelings known and to explain just how potentially devastating the decision to close the industry will be.
“The vape industry has grown exponentially over the past seven years and is recognised by reputable public health organisations like Cancer Research UK as the most effective way to cease smoking.
“It is also, by far, the most effective way to keep ex-smokers from relapsing, studies have shown vaping to be twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapy products like patches and gums.
“This second lockdown will mean that smokers trying to quit and vapers alike will have access to vape products through traditional tobacco channels, businesses which are already benefiting from these imposed lockdowns however, such businesses do not have the skills or capacity to provide the service or advice nesessary for effective cessation.
“I emplore you and your ministers…to allow the UK’s independent vape shops to continue to trade as an essential service, as this will not just help the livlihoods of many independent UK businesses but also give people the chance they deserve to get off, and stay off, tobacco.”
Earlier the UKVIA’s Director General John Dunne said it was “strange and illogical” to allow off-licences to stay open while closing vape shops and urged the government to think again.
Cuts Ice head of group communications Matthew Kersey told Vapouround that it was now vital that as many UK vape businesses as possible write to their local representatives about the lockdown closures.
“We’re absolutely flabbergasted by the Government’s decision on this – the UK is rightly well regarded as a world leader on vaping, but we’re being outstripped by some of our EU neighbours on this issue.
“Stakeholders across the spectrum have done a brilliant job of communicating the importance of vape shops during lockdown periods in recent months, and we hope the Government will now listen and reconsider.
“My worry is that we’ll see the good work of the last few years slowly undone when we’re on the other side of these consecutive crises.”
He said Cuts Ice would offer as much support and guidance as needed to any businesses who needed help in drafting their letters or ensuring that they were seen by the right people.
Anyone who wants to contact Matthew about this can do so by email to [email protected]