The Irish Vape Vendors Association (IVVA) welcomes the release of a new study, funded by Cancer Research UK, which recognises the role reputable vape shops and their employees play in helping smokers switch to vaping.
The study, led by Dr Emma Ward, of the University of East Anglia and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that vape shop assistants were “really keen to understand customers’ smoking preferences and are able to give tailored advice about the most appropriate products.” It also suggested that health professionals could benefit from understanding the role that vape shops play in reducing smoking.
The researchers undertook interviews with smokers who had switched to vaping to attempt to quit smoking and worked with six shops in both London and East Anglia to observe interactions between staff and customers.
Dr Ward said: “Previous evidence suggests that 90 per cent of attempts to quit smoking eventually end in relapse. Smokers are addicted to nicotine, but there are also lots of complex psychosocial behaviours associated with smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy doesn’t always address the behavioural and social aspects of smoking, but switching to e-cigarettes can be a really effective way to stop.
The researchers said that an unsatisfying vaping set-up, device malfunction, or a lack of access to vape supplies can trigger a smoking relapse. But that support from vape shops can help sustain smoking abstinence. They found that shop assistants trouble shoot with customers if they had relapsed and try and find a solution, such as fixing their device or upping their nicotine strength.
The study recommends that future research in the UK should evaluate joint working between Stop Smoking Services and vape shops to help smokers achieve and maintain smoking cessation.
Joanne O’Connell of Vapourpal Ltd and Director of the Irish Vape Vendors Association (IVVA), said:
“We very much welcome this latest research. Reputable vape shops know how important it is to spend time with smokers to get them on their vaping journey. A good vape shop will stock a range of compliant liquids and devices, and ensure smokers have best experience to help them switch, along with advising them on suitable liquids, flavours and nicotine strengths.
The way that reputable vape shops help and advise smokers has already been outlined in last year’s HIQA report. We’re now calling on Ministers Simon Harris and Catherine Byrne to have some dialogue with the independent vape industry so we can move forward with better information for smokers and the public about these products. If we had the right regulations in place, more Irish smokers will be attracted to making the switch.”
A Qualitative Exploration of the Role of Vape Shop Environments in Supporting Smoking Abstinence : http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/15/2/297/htm