E-Cigarette Direct shop in Swansea.

All UK Vape Shops Told to Close

Just a week ago I speculated that vape shops might not close in the UK.

It was not to be.

Last night vape shops, along with all other non-essential shops, were ordered closed by the government.

That’s despite lobbying from both vape trade associations (IBVTA / UKVIA), who called for vape shops to remain open to help people stay away from smoking.

What will the impact be on smoking rates?

There are concerns that some vapers will revert to smoking.

On a positive note, many vapers have now stocked up in a major way. We’ve seen huge orders both in shops and online, with our team on Monday packing nearly a third of the orders they usually pack in a month – in a single day.

Some orders are large enough to supply a vaper for months.

We’ve also seen more high street shoppers switch to online shopping.

Websites continue to operate – but I suspect, for a while, next day delivery may become a thing of the past.

First, postal services are under huge pressure. I suspect that online retailers across the country are experiencing record sales, and as shops shut down volumes could surge even further. At the same time, the post office is short of workers as staff self-isolate or go off sick.

Secondly, there is a limit to how many orders can be packed in a day, and how quickly packing capacity and customer services can be expanded.

While more people can be recruited, or may move from shops, bringing people in has to be done carefully at the moment in order to limit interaction.

Still, vapers will continue to be able to access suppliers online, even if they do need to allow a bit more time for deliveries to arrive.

The big concern is for vapers who are not technologically savvy, and who make their purchases in cash.

For those of us who live behind a computer or a phone it’s hard to imagine, but there are still many people who won’t or can’t use an e-commerce website, and who make every purchase in cash.

These are the people who depend on vape shops. Many have been vaping for years, still use the same vape model they first bought, and are reluctant to buy any other device.

What they will still be able to access, via the supermarkets and other essential shops, is cigarettes.

Will – and should – vape shops be reopened?

Of course, the government might change its mind.

But it’s not easy to shut a chain of stores, furlough workers, collect stock from multiple stores, and then change course again.

And with shoppers likely to stay at home in droves, it might not be feasible for vape shops already battered by negative news from the US to stay open on an empty high street.

Finally, one thing that has been on my mind a lot recently is the duty of care vape companies have towards their staff. The need to serve customers will need to be carefully balanced against putting vape staff in the firing line of the virus.

Vape enemies swoop

Sadly, enemies of vaping have been quick to take advantage of the vape crisis.

As always, it’s started in the USA. The US Surgeon General, who weeks ago was busy downplaying the effect of Coronavirus,

has speculated that vaping might lead to increased rates of Coronavirus.

Stanton Glantz, the engineer who was responsible for telling millions of people that vaping caused heart attacks, only to be forced to retract the study behind it, has been doing the same.

The theory seems to be:

  1. The US has lots of cases amongst young people.
  2. The US has lots of vapers.
  3. Therefore, vaping leads to coronavirus.

This is a classic correlation/causation error. This occurs when you assume that if a happens, then b happens, then b must have happened because of a.

To show the flawed logic, we can choose any other factor that is unique to the US. For example, we could speculate that:

  1. The US has lots of cases amongst young people.
  2. The US has lots of guns.
  3. Therefore, guns lead to coronavirus amongst people.

One problem – scientists have found zero data to suggest that vaping has any impact on Coronavirus.

Usually we have a number of public health experts who jump to vaping’s defence. But, not surprisingly, these people are too busy saving the world to deal with irresponsible media stories, as a tweet from researcher Professor Linda Bauld shows:

On a side note, there is also speculation that the anti-viral and antibacterial properties in propylene glycol (the main ingredient in e-liquid) can prevent Coronavirus.

While that would be great, there’s still no evidence, and until we have some evidence, we can’t claim vaping makes us safer.


If you’re a vape customer and you can shop online, don’t panic.

As with food, there’s plenty of vape supplies if people are sensible and don’t stockpile.

So please keep calm, be patient and don’t forget to wash your hands!

Halo e-liquid - 3 for 9.99

12 thoughts on “All UK Vape Shops Told to Close”

  1. Hi pal
    I have a vape shop but as we are classed as non essential, how can I travel to my shop in order to make issues online, even if I had all my stock st home which would not be practicle, who is going to deliver small orders £10 or £20 worth for example, couriers will charge you more than that to deliver, and as we are not allowed out then we can’t deliver ourselves, lots of my customers especially the elderly will return to smoking as they rely on us to change coils fix tanks and mods etc.
    All the best

    1. Hey Jim

      The advice is that you should work from home unless you are not able to. While I’m no legal expert, I’d have thought that as you can’t complete your work from home, you should be able to travel to your shop. After all, warehouses are allowed to open and dispatch, and you’d essentially be using your shop as a warehouse.


      1. I vape & have to coils to last, I didnt stock up because when I Google docs it they were staying open 😣

  2. Hi James, why has the government stopped E-Cig shops opening, small grocery shops still open and are selling Standard Cigs, seems to be back to front logic, do they want everyone to go back to standard cigs. How daft would that be? Vaping has been proved to be safer than Smoking.
    Maybe get ALL e-cig shops to sell bread/milk? or what ever, what a silly country this is turning into. Wake up Government ! what you are doing is nonsense.
    Stay Safe, Stay Healthy James.

    1. Hi Dave, completely understand where you are coming from, although I have mixed feelings. On the one hand there is a danger that some people may go back to cigarettes, but on the other hand vape shops are about improving public health, so the danger of people picking up Coronavirus has to be taken into account. One ex-employee, who now runs a vape shop, has a great solution, though, as he now delivers to customers throughout the week, ensuring that in his area people who can’t order online can still get supplies.

  3. Hi
    And thanks for this very interesting post.
    Here in Italy we’re going to open again on the 4th of May.
    So let’s hold on

  4. Hi, can you please point me at the goverment instruction that Vape Shops must close please. I have been looking but you must know of who and when this was put out by the Gov.


    1. There wasn’t a specific instruction for vape shops. All shops were told to close, and vape shops were not included in the list of exceptions. Despite pressure from some public health officials and tobacco harm reduction groups, vape shops have not been added to the list of essential shops that are allowed to open.

    1. To be fair, I’m not sure that is the case here. The government in the UK have been pretty good in the UK when it comes to vaping in other areas, probably one of the most pro-vaping regimes in the world, and I understand people like Public Health England are keen for vape shops to be open, unfortunately this was nixed by Number 10. What with grants, furlough, deliveries and click to collect, I have a feeling many vape shops are actually better off closing during lockdowns, but there’s no doubt that some vapers have gone back to smoking during lockdowns.

  5. i don’t really use vape shops as for some reason every vape shop i have been in fails to display prices for anything and i don’t like to keep asking how much is this or that just to find its out of my price range anyway so i do all my vape shopping online where the prices are always displayed.
    having said that it is ludicrous that vape shops have to close during UK lockdowns, makes me wonder if government is as much in favor of vaping & THR as they say they are.
    i hear some USA vape shops, though technically closed were doing phone in orders with curbside pickup or even local home delivery’s where possible and this could maybe be an option for some.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top