2020 has been a trying year for vape shops as well as other businesses classified as non-essential.
With the new rules around the second national lockdown coming into effect last Thursday, some vape shops who cannot offer click & collect, home delivery or have an online outlet for their products have been forced to close leaving them with a sense of uncertainty of what may come after the 4-week lockdown has ended.
According to Ecigintelligence, the vaping industry is set to see a decrease in sales between “45% and 50% during the 4-week closure”. The closure of vape retailers will have a profound effect on the vaping industry as a whole, the effects will also be felt throughout the UK economy as well as avid vapers and ex-smokers.
Fears are mounting that the closure of vape shops will leave ex-smokers without the ongoing support, expert advice and accessibility that vape shops provide, potentially causing ex-smokers to relapse. Fortunately, there is growing support within the community and importantly within the House of Lords to classify vape shops as essential retailers. Baroness Meacher has questioned why vape shops have been excluded from the list of essential businesses allowed to remain open during lockdown stating “closing the vape shops could set back the anti-smoking campaign terribly badly”. Lord Bethell has stated that Meacher raises a very good point and is “happy to take that back to the department”.
Furthermore, the UKVIA have contacted Business Secretary Alok Sharma, Small Business Minister Paul Scully and Minister for Public Health Jo Churchill, warning that the closure of vape shops “would be hugely detrimental to the sector’s contribution to the national economy and the health of the nation”.
Here at Riot Squad, we support all of the work that the UKVIA continues to do to challenge the original ruling. We have set up a petition to the Cabinet of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United Kingdom to allow vape shops to remain open in the UK as an essential business.
Please join us in this ongoing challenge by signing the petition http://chng.it/vXKP7YWf.