Guest post by Ian Green (Twitter: @ECigologist)
Having run my own Vape store for the past three years, I thought that most of the anxiety witnessed was when a new customer is being talked through their first ever purchase. You can sometimes smell the fear when you mention “atomisers”, “variable voltage/wattage” and then there’s the “juice menu”. Lots of flavour choices and varying nicotine strengths. You get the picture.
Now there’s a new generation of anxious Vaper. Not just anxious…distraught!
Having had a “tell it like it is” policy from the outset, we’ve always kept customers informed where the TPD is concerned. We’ve had the petitions available to sign via a laptop on the counter, TV screens showing most of the available information, handed out leaflets and kept a Twittter feed live on the website. It’s what many businesses have done for a long time.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that most if not all believed it wouldn’t happen. Even though it’s happened or technically speaking “happening”, many vapers have been in denial. A lot still are!
“There’s too many of us for them to ban vaping”
“It’s never going to happen”
“They can’t stop us”
Just a few regular comments that many of my colleagues locally and nationally would have heard, time and time again.
However, in the past few weeks the reality and true consequences of the TPD are beginning to have an impact as several E-Liquid manufacturers start withdrawing the higher nicotine strengths. The look of total despair on customers faces is saddening, if not predictable; even when the warnings have been so abundant. I wonder what they’ll do when I haven’t actually got any 20mg + to sell? After all, I’ve only been reminding them that they should write to their MPs and share their disgust! There’s thousands vaping and enjoying 24/33mg out there.
This soon to be very disappointed generation of vaper will at least have something in common with those yet to discover vaping. Unless you’re a Cloud Chaser, you’ll have two options available, and both are going to be second best.
It’s up to retailers to badger the liquid manufacturers. Vapers need options and one vital option is to use the nicotine strength of choice. Higher nicotine strengths must therefore be available until the very last minute.
If the EU and UK Government removed alcohol from pubs, there would be uproar. I’ll leave that blog for Fergus!
The reward for Apathy is continued disappointment and a need to put up signs that you’ll point to to with a wry smile on your face. They may read like this one:
“I try to please at least one person per day, today isn’t your day and tomorrow isn’t looking great either”.
It might be amusing if it wasn’t such a monumental Public Health shambles. So, don’t hide the facts from your customers, as their Apathy may be treated with a shot of stark reality. And don’t let your liquid manufacturers off the hook either. Premature withdrawal always ends in disappointment!!! Long term potentially.
Whichever way you look at this sorry situation, there’s many among us that simply need strength and support. Let’s offer both, for as long as possible.