Vape shops may be one of the keys to helping people stop smoking for good.
Look, obviously they are. They provide people with vaping equipment, which does an incredible job of filling the hole left in people's lives when they stop smoking. And by all accounts it actually excels: vaping is arguably more pleasant, certainly more bearable to those around you, and friendlier to your body.
So it's not news that anyone who helps provide vaping kits is a keystone in the stop-smoking story. But it's for a different reason than you might think.
A new study
A new study has emerged, undertaken by Dr. Emma Ward of the University of East Anglia, and funded in part by the Independent British Vape Trade Association. It has found that vape shops‐specifically, "reputable, ethical vape shops"—don't just provide vaping kits and be done with it. Rather, they often fill the role of a gathering place where people quitting smoking can find support and advice.
Think about it. Humans are evidently social creatures. Ever since the first monkey called his mate over to listen to the sound of rocks banging together, we've sought and found support and friendship in those experiencing the same situations we experience ourselves.
And quitting smoking can be a lonely business. No one can help you do it, and no one goes through it with you. Since you're altering your body chemistry—for the better—it can be painful.
So when erstwhile smokers look for somewhere to share their experience, they turn to their local vape shop. After all, more than 99% of people who visit a vape shop have been a smoker in their lifetime, according to the recent Public Health England evidence review. Nowhere else is someone undergoing the pain of quitting smoking going to find so relatable a crowd.
Vape store employees
Consider as well that vape shop employees almost always vape themselves, and in fact are ardent proponents of vaping. Could you imagine a waiter at a restaurant eating at that very same restaurant everyday? Or a bus driver who herself won't shut up to all her friends about how great it is to ride the bus? And yet, chat up any vape shop employee and they'll chew your ear off about how it's the greatest.
Those chats don't end at a purchase, either. Since eliquid is a consumable, those who vape wind up returning to their local vape shop regularly and building rapport with those who work there. It's become, in recent years, a modern-day alternative to the pub, as a gathering place for likeminded people to meet and talk.
It's clear on reflection that local vape shops are the powerhouses behind the quitting movement. And those who work there work on the front lines. So if you're in London, come down to one of our stores and say hello. We'll be glad to see you.