English vape shops are popular for more than simply restocking one’s supply. They appear to serve as one part retailer, part social club, and part psychological crutch.
Vape shops are being credited with supporting individuals who seek to kick the habit, according to a study by UEA’s Norwich Medical School.
“Previous evidence suggests that 90 percent of attempts to quit smoking eventually end in relapse,” said Dr. Emma Ward, the lead researcher. “Smokers are addicted to nicotine, but there are also lots of complex psychosocial behaviors associated with smoking.
Nicotine replacement therapy doesn’t always address the behavioral and social aspects of smoking, but switching to e-cigarettes can be a really effective way to stop.”
Norwich Medical School’s research centered on interviewing 40 individuals who started vaping in an attempt to quit smoking nicotine. It also analyzed the daily interactions of employees and customers at six vape shops.
The popular establishments, which total about 2,000, seem to be a top supply line for the estimated 2.9 million vapers in Britain to purchase e-cigarettes.
The study discovered “effective behavioral support” was exchanged between shop workers and consumers. This was predominately accomplished by store associates providing keen advice to tailor the customers’ needs, Ward said.
“They were an ongoing point of contact for practical help,” Ward said.
As a social outlet, vape shops were found to utilize a “café feel interior” to promote a place to relax and talk with like-minded people, Ward said.
While the scene still may be dominated by males, the research showed the café platform served as a bridge to reach those who enjoyed the social aspect of smoking. Still, of those interviewed, many suggested the vape shop environment could use a “woman’s touch.”
“Some of the women we spoke to said they didn’t feel confident in vape shops, and said that their male partner or a colleague would visit the shops on their behalf,” Ward said. “We also saw that men would come in to buy products or ask for advice on behalf of absent female partners.”
The research went on to recommend future studies should include the formation of a working relationship between vape shops and the National Health Service (NHS).
By working together, the NHS could mine for new techniques to reach individuals who are searching for the right way to quit smoking.
Looking for more ways to kick the habit? Check out these articles with tips on how to quit smoking.