As Coronavirus continues to impact life across the UK (and, indeed, the world), we thought you might appreciate an update from a vaping perspective.
There’s rumours to quash, vape hygiene to consider and the need to think about the continued supply of vape products.
Let’s get started.
Will vape shops be shut in a lockdown? Maybe not...
What's going to happen to vape shops?
We can look to the continent for some clues.
In Spain most shops are closed, but tobacconists are open and these do sell some vaping equipment. Meanwhile, Italy initially closed vape shops, which lead to protests from Professor Polosa:
#COVID2019italia Open #vapeshops now! I think it is wrong to deprive smokers of the possibility of #switching to less harmful and even more unfair products to let thousands of #vapers move to smoke. We must guarantee access to alternative tools to quit smoking. @notizie_web1— Riccardo Polosa (@RiccardoPolosa) March 12, 2020
The protests had the desired result, with shops being re-opened just two days later.
It's certainly a difficult choice to make.
While many people can place orders online, we find that some customers are not used to doing so. These customers are at risk of going back to smoking at the exact time they need to protect their health. (However, as mentioned below, you CAN place orders over the phone.)
At the same time, companies will be stretched to keep shops open, visitor numbers are likely to plunge, and if companies are not able to access business interruption services because an official exception is made for vape stores, some may go out of business.
It didn't take long before anti-vaping groups started to take advantage of Coronavirus.
So far we've heard that vaping is worse than Coronavirus (!) and that vaping makes you more susceptible to the virus.
Fortunately, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos was quick to quash the rumours, writing:
NYC Mayor said smoking and vaping increases coronavirus risk. In 1099 cases from China, only 12.6% were smokers (we would expect much higher). ZERO data on e-cigs. So, still too early to say. People with ZERO public health knowledge should SHUT UP.https://t.co/1pUYlxdpFp— K. Farsalinos (@FarsalinosK) March 9, 2020
Farsalinos has an excellent blog post on smoking, vaping and coronavirus, which includes highlighting the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of propylene glycol.
Many readers will already know this, but it's worth repeating some basic vape hygiene tips.
- As with your phone and wallet, it's worth cleaning your vape several times a day with an anti-bacterial wipe to remove bacteria.
- You can also clean your tank by running hot water through it and/or cleaning coils with rubbing alcohol. Ensure your tank is completely dry before using it with e-liquid again.
- If in a vape shop, ensure you use a disposable drip tip when trying a new e-liquid. (For now, at least in our shops, e-liquid tasting stands have been removed.)
- If you're at our shops, you'll also be asked to use contactless payment. We're still accepting cash for the minority of people who do not have a contactless card.
- Whilst vaping, remember the advice to avoid touching your face and take extra care to ensure your hands are clean.
At E-Cigarette Direct we are working hard to try and ensure that we can provide continued service via our website so that any customers who do self-isolate can still place orders, and via our shops.
As always, the teams in our shops have been amazing, continuing to work at a difficult time, and making every effort to ensure our shops are open and can continue to supply vapers who might otherwise go back to smoking.
If you are unable to get to a vape shop and are not familiar with ordering online, do remember that you can always place orders by calling 01792 852 843.