VApril, the annual campaign to help smokers make the transition to vaping, will launch on 1 April and is going digital following the coronavirus outbreak.
Now in its third year, the campaign will harness digital platforms to reach out to UK smokers and vapers during the lockdown and continue to provide specialist advice for those trying to quit smoking.
VApril follows the latest Vaping Evidence Review published by Public Health England (PHE) in March, which indicated that misinformation has led to false fears about vaping, preventing more smokers to make the switchover.
John Dunne, a director of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) which organises and co-ordinates VApril, said: “Normally during VApril our members’ retail stores host expert classes across the country to educate smokers on everything to do with vaping but this year we’ve had to change tack to safeguard the welfare of smokers and vapers during the month and therefore we will be engaging audiences through digital media.
“The UKVIA, our members and partners will all provide expert guidance via our social media channels and the dedicated VApril digital hub to help anyone who has either already quit smoking or is looking to give up.
“Due to the fact that most of the population is working from home and in front of their laptops or using their mobile devices, we expect VApril 2020 to be very successful in helping to give smokers expert advice on vaping during these unprecedented circumstances.”
Getting the message
Dunne added: “Despite many leading healthcare organisations, such as Cancer Research UK, Public Health England and the British Heart Foundation publicly highlighting the positive benefits of vaping versus smoking, PHE’s recent report revealed that some 37% of smokers have never even tried it and over half of them believe it to be equally or more harmful than smoking.
“Even though PHE continues to highlight that regulated nicotine vaping is at least 95% less harmful than conventional smoking, the message is not getting through.
“Our VApril campaign aims to address the misinformation out there and give smokers all the evidence-backed advice and information that they need to make informed decisions about vaping and to give them peace of mind.”
An online hub is now live to support the campaign, where smokers can access information and expert advice covering vape devices, flavours and nicotine levels.
Smokers who visit the hub can download a special ‘Switch on to Vaping’ guide and pose questions online to an expert industry panel. A number of vapers also share their positive life changing experiences of making the switch from smoking to vaping on the website and there is a vaper’s guide to coronavirus.
According to market research company One Poll, some one in five smokers had heard of VApril and nearly three quarters of these (72%) said that the campaign had influenced them to make the switch from smoking to vaping.
Vaping companies and associations in the UK and internationally can contact the UKVIA to gain free access to all the campaign’s materials.