Don’t Shut Vape Shops During COVID-19 Crisis!
The UK Government is being urged not to close vape shops in the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak in a bid to stop vapers returning to smoking.
France, Spain and Italy has allowed the re-opening of vape shops – despite the lock-down – following advice from pro-vaping health officials.
It’s hoped if anymore enforced closures are ordered by the UK Government, vape shops will be exempt.
The UK Vaping Industry Association [UKVIA] has written to Westminster and the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments saying given this is a respiratory disease, anyone returning to smoking will increase the risk to themselves and others of catching the virus.
The letter to the UK Government is addressed to: Nadhim Zahawi MP, Minister for Business and Industry; Paul Scully MP, Small Business Minister; Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care – and covers all bases including calling for support for bricks and mortar businesses.
UKVIA says the vape industry is playing a ‘vital role’ during the crisis and adds:
Our simple ask of you is to ensure that vape shops in towns and rural areas stay open during the crisis.
We recognise and support the Government’s intensified containment plan for the virus but would urge you and your colleagues to look at the example of Italy.
Dr Riccardo Polosa, a world renowned scientist and researcher on vaping and tobacco harm reduction and founder of the Centre of Excellence for the Acceleration of Harm Reduction, successfully argued that due to the stress caused by the Coronavirus, with the closure of vape shops vapers were highly likely to go back to smoking cigarettes to maintain their nicotine needs.
This could be dangerous from a public health perspective and could heighten the risk of exposure of tobacco smoke to bystanders.
This could also place a further burden on an already overstretched health system.
As for support for the vaping industry and small businesses during these unprecedented times it says:
In addition to keeping vape shops open for business we would particularly like to understand what types of support will be available for our members who are manufacturers, compliance specialists, vape store owners and online retailers.
Many are small to medium sized operations, and both during and post this crisis we want to ensure that they are still able to provide a service to the three million plus vapers in the UK, including those in self isolation and people living in remote areas.
Sir Kevin Barron, Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and former MP and previous member of the General Medical Council, said:
It is predicted that Coronavirus will have a huge negative mental health impact on our population with added stress and anxiety arising from being quarantined or isolated, worries about jobs and finances, and the risk of the disease to themselves and friends and families.
In such situations there can be a heightened temptation to smoke and its crucial that continued access to vaping during the crisis ensures vapers do not return to conventional cigarettes and that existing smokers can be encouraged to switch to vaping.
The concern is that if the number of smokers increase in the UK this could place further pressure on an already under pressure domestic health system struggling to deal with the coronavirus.
One vape business that has vowed to keep working and keep its shops open is the UK’s largest – VPZ.
It says 155 stores will remain open with extra safety measures brought in for staff and customers.
VPZ’s Doug Mutter said:
We know we have a lot of elderly customers and many of them can’t do a big stockpile – we don’t want them to have no option and end up back on cigarettes, because that’s what’s available to them.
If the vaping industry can play a part in reducing the pressure on the NHS by continuing to operate in some way, we’ll do out utmost to do what we can.
The vape company has just introduced a delivery service for the elderly and vulnerable in and around Edinburgh with plans to roll it out across the UK if needed.
We are working immensely hard behind the scenes to ensure all of our 155 stores will be open, as well as providing additional delivery services for those who are self-isolating or for whatever reason are unable to access our products, and support.
NO Link To CoronaVirus and Vaping!
As I reported a couple of weeks ago and despite the latest crazy speculation that vaping is adding to the dangers of contracting coronavirus – nothing could be further from the truth.
However disgraced ‘scientist’ and vehement anti-ecigarette lobbyist Stanton Glantz has appeared all over the media with doomsday warnings that vapers are at MORE risk of contracting the disease.
However as we know one of the main ingredients of all e-liquids is Propylene glycol [PG] which learned cardiologist Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos M.D said might even be helping combat COVID-19.
It makes perfect sense given PG is the base ingredient in asthma inhalers and a long term study has shown the remarkable healing of lungs from smokers switching to e-cigarettes.
Indeed I wrote way back in February 2018 about the improvement of lung health due to vaping.
At the time and during the fake ‘vaping gives you pneumonia media stories, I quoted Professor Peter Hajek – Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit QMUL, who said:
…previous work suggests smokers who switched from smoking to vaping report no increase, but in fact a significant decrease in respiratory infections…
There you have it.
Dr Farsalinos said last week:
There is no evidence on any effects of e-cigarettes on coronavirus infectivity and disease progression, and we cannot exclude the possibility that the use of propylene glycol might have some beneficial effects.
…It is sad to see that the coronavirus epidemic is being used (and abused) in the political arena.
Always the voice of reason.
It’s no surprise but still shocking the doomsayers like Glantz have crawled out of the woodwork in an attempt to link vaping to COVID-19.
I’m sure like me, you’ve seen a tsunami of scare stories in the media – but hold fast the UK Government and real medical experts say vaping IS considerably safer than smoking even in these difficult times.
As always ignore the media hype and scaremongering about vaping – it’s that simple.
So…do you think vape shops should remain open?
Let me know in the comments below.
Smokers Urged To Quit During Coronavirus Outbreak
The UK’s leading stop smoking charity says now more than ever smokers should quit or make the switch to safer vaping.
The Action on Smoking and Health [ASH] says it agrees with a UK Parliament statement from Health, Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock who said:
It is abundantly clear from the research into previous coronaviruses that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse.
To that end ASH is urging smokers to make the switch to e-cigarettes during this worrying time:
Some media are also reporting that vapers face additional risks from coronavirus.
The evidence for this is far less clear.
Smokers who have switched to vaping should be reassured that this is better for them than smoking.
Checkout the hashtag #QuitForCovid for more info.
China Vape Industry Back To 80% Capacity?
A little snippet of good news!
Reports coming out of China suggests 80% of the vape industry’s workforce has returned.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in the country appears to have begin to drop and so called social distancing and isolation orders are being lifted.
This means the largest Vape Expo in Asia has now been given a new date for August – unlike the UK Vaper Expo in May which has been cancelled.
China’s vape expo was scheduled for April 24th but will now be held in the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center Hall from August 20 to 22, 2020.
Let’s hope the UK Vaper Expo in October will go ahead.
I’ll have more Vaping News on Wednesday – until then stay safe!