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​Vaping Retailers Help Smokers Quit Tobacco Cigarettes

​Vaping Retailers Help Smokers Quit Tobacco Cigarettes

14th Aug 2018

Vaping is different from the new, exciting or new and weird hobby it was once considered to be (depending on your outlook). Vaping has existed long enough for people to recognise it as a beneficial alternative to tobacco smoking.

Not only is it healthier, and more on that shortly, it is now so easy to access with vaping shops and convenience stores stocking vapes everywhere. We look at why vaping shops and websites that offer advice, dedicated vaping blog posts, FAQ sections, special offers and face-to-face or phone support are helping smokers to quit smoking for good.

Vaping, in the main, has been attributed to helping hundreds of thousands of smokers quit since vaping became popular. It offers an enjoyable alternative at least 95% less harmful than smoking.

That figure comes directly from Public Health England, which referred to vaping as such in their recent review. You might assume that the other 5% will fall into line once vaping studies have been run over a long enough period to tick that particular box.

Many parts of vaping have helped help smokers to quit, however, and one sector which doesn’t get enough credit for it is the front-line vaping shops and online retailers.

Yes, vaping shops and online sellers are businesses that are there to make a profit. If they are a reputable business, they will also be looking to enhance their customer’s enjoyment and genuinely care about the vaping community and the need to support others in walking away from harmful tobacco smoking.

The Battle Against Misinformation in the Vaping Industry

Misinformation, spread through various channels, has created uncertainty around vaping products and their effects.

Misinformation and its Origins

Misinformation about vaping often stems from a need for more scientific consensus and a complete understanding of the long-term effects of vaping. Sensationalised media coverage, anecdotes, and social media platforms amplify misinformation, creating consumer confusion. While some concerns are valid, an overwhelming amount of information is based on preliminary research or unfounded claims.

Impact on Retailers:

The proliferation of misinformation poses substantial challenges for retailers in the vaping industry. Firstly, it erodes consumer confidence and trust, making attracting and retaining new customers harder. The negative portrayal of vaping can result in decreased sales and a shrinking customer base.

Moreover, retailers need help educating customers about accurate information on vaping. The misinformation overload creates a significant barrier, as customers may need to be more informed about the benefits and risks of vaping products. Retailers find themselves in the challenging position of countering misinformation while navigating the legal and regulatory landscape surrounding the industry.

Combatting Misinformation:

Industry stakeholders, including retailers, have undertaken several initiatives to combat the spread of misinformation. Education campaigns to disseminate accurate information have been launched to provide customers with evidence-based knowledge about vaping. Retailers have also collaborated with researchers, health professionals, and advocacy groups to promote responsible vaping and highlight the benefits of harm reduction.

Transparency and responsible marketing practices are vital in combating misinformation. Retailers are crucial in ensuring that their marketing materials and product descriptions provide accurate and clear information. By adhering to regulations (Such as the TPD) and best practices, retailers can cultivate trust among their customer base.

Additionally, engaging with customers can help dispel misconceptions and build trust-based relationships. One-on-one interactions allow retailers to address customer concerns, debunk myths, and provide evidence-based information about vaping.

The Role of Vaping Retailers as Information Advocates

Vaping retailers, as the primary point of contact for customers, play a pivotal role in advocating for their customers by providing essential information and promoting responsible vaping practices. This section delves into the various ways in which vaping retailers act as information advocates for their customers.

Knowledge and Expertise

Vaping retailers possess comprehensive knowledge about vaping products, including e-cigarettes, e-liquids, and accessories. They stay updated with industry trends, regulations, and research findings. They can guide customers through diverse vaping options, helping them make informed choices. By staying informed about product safety, quality standards, and potential health implications, retailers can educate customers about responsible vaping practices and ensure they are aware of potential risks.

Product Recommendations

Vaping retailers go beyond merely selling products; they act as advisors, tailoring their recommendations to suit each customer's needs. By considering factors such as nicotine preferences, vaping experience, and personal goals, retailers can suggest suitable devices, e-liquid flavours, and nicotine strengths. Their role as information advocates ensures that customers know the differences between various products, enabling them to find the most suitable options that align with their preferences and goals.

Safety and Regulatory Compliance

Vaping retailers play a crucial role in promoting safety and regulatory compliance within the industry. They ensure their products meet necessary quality standards and adhere to local regulations. By educating customers about product safety, proper usage, and maintenance, retailers help minimise potential risks associated with vaping. They may also advocate for implementing age restrictions and responsible marketing practices to protect vulnerable populations, such as minors.

Health and Wellness Education

Vaping retailers recognise the importance of providing accurate information about the potential health effects of vaping. They inform customers about existing research studies, highlighting the known benefits and potential risks of vaping. By encouraging transparency and open dialogue, retailers create an environment where customers can ask questions and receive reliable information. They may collaborate with healthcare professionals and public health organisations to promote evidence-based messaging and encourage responsible vaping practices.

Transparent Labelling and Product Information: Building Trust with Consumers

Transparency and clear communication have emerged as vital factors for establishing trust between businesses and consumers. This is particularly crucial for e-cigarette products, where the importance of good labelling must be balanced. By providing comprehensive and accurate product information, e-cigarette manufacturers can build consumer trust and foster a safer and more informed vaping community.

First and foremost, good labelling of e-cigarette products ensures that consumers have access to essential information regarding the product's contents, ingredients, and potential risks. Clear labelling allows individuals to make informed choices about their health and well-being, empowering them to evaluate the potential risks of vaping. By understanding the ingredients present in e-cigarettes, consumers can assess the potential allergens, toxins, or other substances they may want to avoid.

Transparent labelling also enables consumers to make comparisons between different e-cigarette products. This information helps individuals identify products that align with their preferences, whether they prioritise nicotine content, flavour profiles, or ingredient quality. Manufacturers build trust and contribute to a more competitive marketplace by allowing consumers to make informed decisions, fostering innovation and product improvements.

Furthermore, clear labelling promotes accountability among e-cigarette manufacturers. It ensures that companies adhere to regulatory requirements and industry standards, reducing the likelihood of misleading or false claims. By clearly stating the product's composition, manufacturing processes, and potential health risks, manufacturers demonstrate a commitment to consumer safety and regulatory compliance.

Good labelling practices also play a vital role in minimising the appeal of e-cigarette products to underage individuals. By providing accurate information about nicotine content and health risks, manufacturers can discourage underage vaping and help parents and educators educate young people about the potential dangers associated with these products.

Consumer Guidance: Ensuring Accurate Information for Smokers Transitioning to Vaping

To ensure consumers have access to the right information, it is essential to adopt a systematic approach. Here are key steps smokers can take to ensure they are well-informed.

Seek Reliable Sources:

Consumers should rely on trusted sources such as reputable health organisations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to obtain accurate information. These organisations provide up-to-date, evidence-based guidance on vaping as a smoking cessation tool. By referring to these sources, smokers can make informed decisions based on reliable data.

Consult Healthcare Professionals:

The guidance of healthcare professionals is invaluable during the transition to vaping. Doctors, nurses, and other medical practitioners can offer personalised advice based on an individual's health status and smoking history. They can recommend appropriate nicotine levels, device types, and usage techniques tailored to the smoker's specific needs, maximising the chances of a successful transition.

Assess Product Quality:

Choosing reputable brands and manufacturers is crucial for ensuring product safety and quality. Smokers should look for certifications such as CE, RoHS, or UL, indicating compliance with rigorous standards. Reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from experienced vapers can provide insights into reliable products and help consumers avoid potential pitfalls.

Stay Informed on Regulations:

Vaping regulations can vary across jurisdictions, making it important for consumers to stay updated on the latest legal requirements. Regularly monitoring reputable news sources and governmental websites can help smokers remain aware of any changes in vaping policies and restrictions, enabling them to make informed decisions within the boundaries of the law.

Responsible Marketing Practices: Ethical Communication by Vaping Retailers

As vaping retailers navigate the marketing landscape, it is crucial to adopt ethical communication practices to ensure the well-being of consumers and foster a positive perception of the industry. This section explores how vape retailers can ethically promote their products, focusing on transparency, informed consent, and responsible advertising.

Transparency in Product Information:

Ethical communication begins with transparency, ensuring that consumers have access to accurate and comprehensive information about vaping products. Vape retailers should provide clear ingredient details, potential health risks, and recommended usage guidelines. By proactively disclosing information, retailers enable consumers to decide whether vaping aligns with their personal choices and values.

Educational Initiatives:

To promote honest communication, vape retailers can also educate their customers about vaping. This includes providing resources, such as brochures, websites, or informative blog posts, explaining the potential benefits and risks of vaping. By presenting balanced and evidence-based information, retailers empower consumers to make educated choices and understand the implications of their decision to vape.

Informed Consent and Age Verification:

Responsible marketing practices within the vaping industry involve obtaining informed consent from customers. Retailers should employ robust age verification systems in physical stores and online platforms to prevent underage individuals from accessing vaping products. Retailers uphold ethical standards and protect vulnerable populations by ensuring that only legally eligible customers can purchase.

Responsible Advertising:

Vape retailers must exercise caution and integrity when advertising their products. They should avoid targeting minors, using misleading claims, or glamorising vaping. Instead, retailers can focus on conveying factual information about the product, highlighting its intended use by adult smokers as an alternative to traditional cigarettes. This approach promotes responsible vaping while respecting the principles of ethical marketing.

Collaboration with Health Authorities:

Vape retailers can actively collaborate with health authorities and regulatory bodies to reinforce ethical communication practices. By participating in industry discussions, engaging in research, and adhering to governmental regulations, retailers can demonstrate their commitment to public health and responsible marketing. Such collaborations contribute to the establishment of trust, credibility, and accountability within the vaping industry.

Getting Rid of Fake News

There is a lot of fake news out there in terms of sensationalist headlines about how terrible vaping is, how every e-cigarette is bound to blow up and, of course, how e-liquids cause you to grow a second head.

Thankfully when you visit a vaping shop or speak to online retailers, you know that you are speaking to people who know their stuff and who can’t afford, even if they wanted to, to offer up mistruths about what vaping is all about.

A good business is built on authority, honesty and trust, so you know you'll receive genuine information if you speak to any of these about a vaping query.

When A Cigarette Company Vows To Give Up Smoking

Many people have made New Year's Resolution that includes giving up smoking. It makes sense; smoking is bad for your health and your wallet. Given the amount of time and money the government have put into public health campaigns, it’s great to see that so many people have chosen to ditch the habit for good, some entirely, some deciding to move over to the cleaner and healthier vaping alternative. However, It was surprising to hear that Philip Morris, the huge cigarette-producing conglomerate, has also vowed to give up cigarettes.

In a surprising move, Philip Morris has taken out a full-page ad in the controversial The Sun newspaper alongside other publications to tell readers and the world that they plan to stop selling tobacco cigarettes in the UK.

As one of the world’s largest cigarette companies, producing brands such as Marlboro and Alpine cigarettes, this is an unprecedented move which has the tobacco industry in a spin and which spells a huge potential advancement for vaping, given that PM’s vision is likely to switch to offering e-cigarettes entirely.

The Original Hard Man Fronts UK E-Cig Advertisement

In a move that sees the first ever celeb starring in an e-cigarette advertisement, the original British tough guy Vinnie Jones will be seen as the figurehead for a whopping £1.2 million e-cig campaign.

With changes to the television regulations now allowing e-cigarettes to be broadcast, where tobacco cigarette companies have not been allowed to advertise on TV since 1965, greater freedom has been allowed to e-cigarette retailers and manufacturers when it comes to marketing their products.

While strict rules must still be adhered to, for example, e-cigarettes or vaping must not glamourise smoking, must not target children or young adults, must not be marketed as a cessation device or encourage non-smokers to take up the habit the industry, as a whole many were delighted with the changes in November 2014.

A better person to front the campaign is hard to imagine, with Jones adopting his famous no-nonsense and no-frills style throughout. His fierce "You know it makes sense" (to move over to e smoking) says it all.

While Jones is not shown vaping an e-cigarette himself, the ex-smoker will be explaining the virtues of vaping and liquids and the range of e-liquid flavours possible. The prime-time advertisements are tipped to go down very well with the marketing company’s target audience, who already know and respect, if not adore, the British icon.

Despite the main man's infamy, not everyone is happy with the e-cigarette advertisements, believing that they promote smoking and that e-cigarettes should not be advertised this way. Additional concerns centre around the young seeing e smoking as a cool or attractive prospect.

However, the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) are enforcing their e-cigarette regulations fully, having already banned one that watchers felt was too "sensual" in nature. So it is harder and hard for children to get hold of cigarettes at all.

Vinnie Jones is believed to be an e-cigarette fan in "real life", so it makes sense for him to identify cigarette vaping as much as his fans believe in him as someone who knows what he's talking about.

It is unlikely that this will be the last celeb-endorsed PR campaign around vaping, as whether those against vaping like it or not, this cleaner way to enjoy a smoke is here to stay, with sales revenues and popularity increasing daily.

Tobacco Companies Work To Keep Smokers Smoking

Many believe that tobacco companies are using several “crafty” practices to continue attracting people to smoke and encourage them to stay a smoker rather than quit or move over to vaping. From a business point of view, it makes sense; however, from a public health point of view, not so much.

Despite hikes in cigarette-related taxes, some tobacco bosses are reportedly changing the costs associated with their budget or cheaper cigarette brands, which takes care of any changes in duties that should be paid.

This has resulted in a rise in roll-your-own and cut-price/budget brands sold. Making cigarette packets smaller to cut the price to the consumer has also been identified as a way by which companies encourage smokers to stay smokers.

Do they break any rules?

This is unclear, but given that academics such as King’s College London’s Professor Ann McNeil have stated that “More needs to be done” to stop cheap tobacco products from attracting child smokers.

The Tobacco Control Research Group’s (University of Bath) Dr Rosemary Hiscock has raised concerns about such tactics “thwarting” public health measures. It would seem a line may well have been crossed.

The legislation doesn’t appear to stop tobacco companies from making changes like this, provided they adhere to other marketing rules.

E-Cigarettes and Associated Spending

It will come as no surprise to many that as the number of people vaping has risen and the global reach of e-cigarette use has expanded, more has been spent on vaping-related purchases.

It is estimated that as of 2018, the worth of the global vaping product market tops over twenty-two billion dollars which is a big increase from 2013 when the global worth was just over four billion dollars. Unsurprisingly the UK, Japan and the United States of America report the largest number of sales, which tallies up with the popularity of vaping in these areas.

While global spending on vaping may increase, it is important to remember that smoking spending is decreasing, and smoking costs an individual significantly more than vaping. These numbers mean that more and more people are making healthier choices and choosing vaping instead of tobacco smoking.

The Go Smoke-Free legislation came into play in 2007 and effectively banned smoking in public places such as on public transport, at work, and anywhere that public would congregate. This meant no smoking in pubs, bars, events, train stations, etc. This move, which effectively made smoking less convenient and built a public perception which ostracised it as a habit, has been heavily credited with encouraging people to quit smoking.

Vaping has already had a hand in the quit smoking numbers, being a valid alternative to smoking which is at least 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking. Indeed, vaping has been publicly accepted by several NHS trusts, including NHS Health Scotland, as a much-preferred alternative and an effective cessation device.

While vaping and e-cigarettes are significantly more acceptable to the public and health bodies as a useful cessation device and a healthier option, it has not yet officially been adopted as NHS cessation device.

That said, Public Health England, the government body responsible for the implementation of the Go Smoke-Free legislation, have themselves publicly listed e-cigarettes as a valid cessation device on their Stoptober materials, which is a good indication of the fact that vaping could be on its way to being an official solution in the eyes of the NHS.

The University College London has published data that backs up why people quit, with the Stoptober campaigns alone seeing over 1.5m people attempting to quit alone.

Other reasons for the reduction in smoking numbers include the fact that there is something of an anti-smoking culture now in the UK, the Go Smoke-Free legislation adding practical restrictions to smoking as well as increasing public awareness of the risks, having better cessation tools (such as e-cigarettes) and the introduction of additional warning text and images on cigarette packaging.

What Are People Spending Money On?

Open-system e-cigarettes are the most popular option. They may be refilled manually with e-liquids of the vaper’s choice instead of closed systems, which come with pre-filled cartridges and are often described as single-use or disposable e-cigarettes. Some vapers will buy additional pre-filled cartridges to use the e-cig again.

With e-cigarettes and e-liquids available at very affordable prices and premium kits for those very serious about their vaping hobby, there is something available for all preferences and budgets.

Vaping Retailers are Best Placed to Tell it as it is

A vaping retailer knows what is in an e-juice, what ingredients are used and what is not in an e-juice. They also know that tobacco cigarettes are filled with chemicals, many of which are classified as toxic by the World Health Organisation.

Knowing the ins and outs of the smoking vs vaping debate, retailers are best placed to explain the pros and cons on both sides, offering a realistic overview of the benefits of switching to vaping. They will be able to back up what they say with evidence.

Tobacco Kings Plough Money Into E-Cigarettes - But Why?

While the tobacco giants might be running scared, given the obvious popularity and growth of thee-cigarette industry, they haven't decided to jump ship yet. Many have been surprised recently to hear that some tobacco companies have funded the production of e-cigarettes themselves which at face value suggests a turnaround in opinions.

What is happening here is that the big tobacco players in question have decided to get in on the e-cigarette/vaping game on their terms and with their agenda, basically looking to produce e-cigarettes that are least likely to help tobacco smokers to quit (or so it has been presumed).

Studies suggest disposable e-cigarettes (cigalikes) are less likely to help smokers quit their tobacco habit than tank-model e-cigarettes.

Tank models are those e-cigarettes which are manually refilled with e-liquid and which commonly have many more features than disposable cigarettes, which contain a pre-filled cartridge which is then discarded and replaced or indeed, the whole e-cig is discarded when finished / empty.

In a recent study from the Kings College London of 587 smokers, approximately 76% of those taking part used the so-called cigalikes while 24% used the more permanent tank model of e-cigarette. Within twelve months, 28% of the tank e smokers had quit tobacco smoking altogether as opposed to 11% of the cigalike / disposable smokers.

The researchers found this concerning as many of the cigalike brands that are very popular are now owned by big tobacco brands and are the e-cigarettes most prominently displayed. These cigalikes still earn the tobacco company money while reducing the chances of the smoker permanently moving onto e-cigarettes.

TPD Savvy Retailers Know the Score

In May 2017, the TPD legislation was released. It imposed numerous restrictions on vaping, including reducing the nicotine strength allowed in pre-mixed bottles of vaping juice. How does this help smokers? Short-fill e-liquids were born out of necessity, allowing heavy smokers to switch to vaping with higher nicotine strengths.

This has been achieved by selling flavoured nicotine-free e liquid nicotine free e-liquid nicotine-free e-liquid alongside cost-free nicotine shots in various strengths. By enabling this, adhering to TPD laws yet still facilitating a pleasurable vape for those looking to switch over, vaping retailers have once again found a way to support smokers in their quest to find a way to stub out their cigarettes for good.

Vaping Affordability

Smoking is expensive. You need a new packet in a day or two. Vaping is cheaper, with a starter kit starting at around £20-£25. The start-up cost may seem higher; however, a starter kit and e-liquids will last much longer.

Those looking for an affordable hobby will be glad to reach out to vaping retailers and visit vaping shops as they can maximise savings with special offers and will also be able to find information on how to make their vaping hobby more affordable overall, from vaping tips to e-cigarette know-how. This helps smokers again as it helps identify another good reason to quit; affordability.

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