Coronavirus has honestly impacted all of our lives in some way or another, drastically shifting lifestyles and social interaction for the foreseeable future. With many of our customers asking how the virus affects vaping and vapers, we thought we’d offer a useful guide with advice on vaping hygiene, an update on the industry in the UK as well as some expert opinions from medical and health professionals regarding how COVID-19 impacts vaping.
We’re sure you’re probably bored of the incessant messaging on how to wash your hands correctly and keep 2 metres apart at all times. It is imperative everybody follows these rules, and as a vaper you should also be looking at some extra precautions.
As well as this we also advise:
Currently, physical vape stores are not included in the list of essential shops which are allowed to remain open during the crisis, and have been forced to close due to the UK government’s sanctioned lockdown which came into effect on Monday 23rd March. Many nations have considered vape stores to be essential businesses, effectively taking the burden off of national healthcare, as of yet though this isn’t the case in the UK.
However, vapers who are struggling to find the products they need during the lockdown period can take solace in the fact that online stores are still operating and have been encouraged by the government to do so as online retail helps to prevent hundreds of thousands of trips to the shops every month. Of course during these difficult times, health and safety precautions have been significantly ramped up.
The safety of our staff and our customers is of the utmost importance and we have put into place all of the health and safety precautions and social distancing requirements recommended by the government and Public Health England, as well as a few more we feel are necessary.
For example: we have implemented a one way system in the warehouse which enables staff to remain at least 2m apart whilst picking orders, without crossing paths with anybody else; all doors are propped open to reduce the surfaces that need to be touched; we take all staff’s temperatures before their shift starts and after lunch; all deliveries are disinfected upon arrival as well as the building being thoroughly disinfected daily with additional regular wipe downs throughout the day. As well as this of course all packing stations are 2m apart, all staff must wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser in between and we have PPE available for all team members.
Unfortunately this does slow down the picking and packing process, but it is vital for the safety of our staff as well as our customers. We hope everybody will understand that whilst we still aim to provide our usual high standards of service, due to the huge surge in order numbers there may unfortunately be some minor delays as we ensure everybody remains as safe as possible.
Royal Mail are still operating as normally as possible, but staff shortages are affecting them intermittently and orders may take a little longer to arrive than usual. We would advise all customers to order a few days in advance to allow for any potential delivery delays.
Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving parcels are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus. From experience with other coronaviruses, we know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels. This has allowed us to continue our excellent service and help save customers making trips to shops which could otherwise potentially put them in jeopardy of contracting or transmitting the virus.
It’s fair to say the vape industry has fought off their fair share of misinformation and poor reporting over the years, with many media outlets scaremongering vapers that they are at high risk. As of yet, there isn’t enough data on the virus overall, let alone when looking at the specifics of vaping and COVID-19, yet the most informed opinion we can go by is from Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs at PHE.
She claims, “Public Health England’s 2018 independent evidence review found that to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders. There is currently no evidence that coronavirus can be caught from exposure to e-cigarette vapour.”
There has also been a lot of speculation concerning whether COVID-19 can be transmitted through vape clouds.
Leading academic Physician and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Dr Neal Benowitz states,
” It is my understanding that exhaled e-cigarette vapor consists of very small particles of water, propylene glycol and glycerin and flavor chemicals, not droplets of saliva. The vaping aerosol evaporates very quickly, while particles that are emitted when coughing or sneezing are large particles that persist in the air for a relatively long period of time. Thus, I would not think that vapers present any risk of spreading COVID-19, unless they are coughing when they exhale the vapor.”
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, a leading researcher on e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction states in his widely read blog on COVID-19 and vaping,
”There is no evidence on any effects of e-cigarettes on coronavirus infectivity and disease progression.”
We hope this has helped answer any concerns you may have had. For up to date information regarding our position and service during the Coronavirus crisis, please take a look at our dedicated COVID-19 page, outlining all of the steps we are taking as a business in the midst of the outbreak. Be careful and stay safe.