Tesco pharmacies launch the VAPESTICK electronic cigarette

It is almost fifty years ago to the day since the Royal College of Physicians first published their seismic survey on smoking and it’s effect on health, which established for the first time the link smoking and dying from diseases related to it.

At that time, the report caused wide spread hysteria in the media and its effect on the economic and social structure in the UK is still being felt today. Its a fact that more that 100,00 smokers die every year from diseases caused, or contributed to, by their habit. Yet it is estimated that there are still over 10m smokers in the UK alone.

Smokers have been urged by Governments to quit their habit using willpower or NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) products. But In February 2012, a Study at Harvard University, regarding the effectiveness of NRT patches and gum, clearly demonstrated that ex-smokers relapse at equivalent rates, whether or not they used Nicotine Replacement Therapies to assist them in quitting.

Now, 50 years on from that RCP Survey, and in the same week as ‘National No Smoking Day’, TESCO – the UK’s largest Grocer – has formally launched the sale of VAPESTICK Electronic Cigarettes – an alternative to smoking tobacco – in all their UK Pharmacies.

Electronic Cigarettes have become increasingly popular over the past few years, attracting millions of users around the world. This rise in popularity has been driven by several highly compelling reasons to make the switch.

Firstly, they are far healthier than smoking tobacco. Every Scientist, Doctor and independent Study that has so far considered these products has confirmed that electronic cigarettes are far healthier than their tobacco counterparts. Whilst they still contain nicotine (in whatever strength the user prefers), they contain no tar, or carbon monoxide, or ammonia, or any of the other thousands of toxins found in tobacco smoke. Instead of tobacco smoke, the user inhales and exhales a water-based vapour which delivers a similar sensation to that of tobacco smoke.

Electronic cigarettes are also far less expensive than tobacco, with users able to save as much as 75% over the cost of normal cigarettes, and they also do not fall foul of the UK smoking ban, so they can legally be used anywhere.

In September 2011, the UK Government’s Behavioural Insights Team or “Nudge Unit”, said they wanted to encourage smokers to try electronic cigarettes. They said, “If alternative and safe nicotine products can be developed which are attractive enough to substitute people away from traditional cigarettes, they could have the potential to save 10,000’s of lives a year”.

Last week, Professor John Britton, Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies said (on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Inside Health’ programme): “We’ve got 10 million smokers in the UK and half of them, some 5 million people, are going to die if they don’t stop smoking…this is a massive health problem. These electronic cigarettes, if they can provide an alternative that is acceptable to a proportion of those smokers, potentially have a lot to offer public health.”

Until recently, electronic cigarettes have been available mainly through on-line retailers and mail order catalogues. This has put them under-the-radar of many UK smokers who are keen to give up, but have not yet managed to find a successful aide to doing so. With “National No Smoking Day” on March 14th, VAPESTICK products will be sold on TESCO Pharmacy shelves, as a healthier alternative for smokers to now consider.

VAPESTICK becomes the first electronic cigarette brand to be formally stocked and supplied by the Pharmacies at the UK’s largest Grocer. A founding board member of ECITA – the (European) Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association – which ensures its members comply with strict guidelines regarding product safety, certification and testing – VAPESTICK has concentrated on developing its products to the highest possible standards, resulting in a wide portfolio of high quality and well-designed electronic cigarette products and accessories to meet the needs of smokers.

Michael Clapper, Co-Founder and Chairman at VAPESTICK said: “After years of hard work in creating these products, we could not be more excited about the launch in TESCO Pharmacies across the country. I think it shows a real commitment by TESCO, not only to us, but also to the on-going health and well-being of their smoking customers who have been searching for a healthier alternative.

They can now find one, right on their doorsteps, at their local TESCO Pharmacy. We are confident that our products are precisely what UK smokers have been looking for, giving them the opportunity to make a healthier choice for both themselves and their families”.

An intensive and sustained marketing campaign will be supporting the launch of VAPESTICK products in TESCO, including customer sampling around the UK, a nationwide radio campaign and promotional in-store offers.