// VPZ opposes government cuts to public health saying smokers need more aid
// It will be launching an in-store support service providing medical advice and lung analysis
The UK’s largest vaping retailer has attacked government cuts to smoking support services, saying it is investing to help address the issue.
VPZ said it would be launching a new support service in stores to help smokers quit smoking for good, as government support is set to be reduced.
The retailer has 135 stores nationwide and bosses have criticised the reductions in public health spending which they believe have made it “more difficult” for smokers to quit.
“Our customer engagement tells us that most smokers want to quit,” VPZ director Doug Mutter said.
“Sadly, the huge cuts in public health spending is currently failing smokers throughout the country and they are being denied the vital help that can truly transform their health and wellbeing.”
Action on Smoking and Health and Cancer Research UK recently reported that 44 per cent of local authorities are without specialist stop smoking services.
The annual report also stated that support for smokers and funding for other measures to promote quitting fell by £41.3 million.
VPZ said that it believed vaping could be used to wean smokers off cigarettes and that they could “help tackle the problem”.
However, questions still remain over the effect of vaping on users’ health.
Research dedicated to vaping is scarce but recent research by Queen Mary University professor Johnathon Griggs suggested it could boost the risk of contracting pneumonia.
Other critics have stated that weaning smokers off cigarettes onto vaping will fail to tackle any long-term addiction problems.
Despite this, Public Health England recently estimated it could be at least 95 per cent less harmful than traditional smoking.
VPZ’s new support service will let smokers use carbon monoxide and lung-testing devices to help analyse the extent of respiratory issues.
It said staff would receive training to provide the proper support and educational advice.
It added that smokers don’t need to buy any vaping products to use the support system.
“At a time when people across the country are having less access to stop smoking services, we are investing so we can help tackle this problem and demonstrate our commitment to improving the health of the nation,” Mutter said.
“Vaping is already proving to be a key weapon in the UK’s stop smoking strategy and a
radical rethink is required by government if the country is to meet its 2030 target of
“With this long-term ambition in mind we have decided to take positive action and establish
our own support service throughout our growing store network with an offer that allows
every smoker to try vaping.”