A study funded by Cancer Research has concluded that services that help smokers quit should team up with vape shops to provide ideal support for people looking to quit smoking.

The some-would-have-thought unlikely pairing would be able to ensure people use e-cigs to quit smoking and attain the best possible support, according to researchers from the University of East Anglia.

The study looked into the potentially positive role that vape stores could play in linking up with anti-smoking services by interviewing 40 smokers that ditched smoking for vaping, and studied interactions between vape staff and customers in vape shops.

Apparently, the expertise and understanding of staff can play a crucial role in helping smokers quit, both in terms of recommendations and support.

According to the results, vape store assistants helped smokers quit by understanding their preferences and behaviour, and construction recommendations on products and provided support.

“We found that vape shops provided effective behavioural support to help quitters stay smoke free. Shop assistants were really keen to understand customers’ smoking preferences and give tailored advice about the most appropriate products. And they were an ongoing point of contact for practical help,” said head of the study Emma Ward, UEA Medical School.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health also showed that vape stores are a social and relax environment, well-placed for providing the support needed to quit smoking.

“Because they are now commonplace on the high street, they’re really accessible. [They’re] very much like a traditional pub with men joking and discussing hardware and vaping,” added Ward.

Although Public Health England’s study findings indicated that smoking is healthier than vaping, research shows that the reputation of vaping is worsening, as many long-term effects are unknown.

“We still have concerns over the possible safety of using e-cigarettes long term. We need to ensure non-smokers, especially children and young people are not encouraged to use e-cigarettes. However, we recognise they have a potential role to play in harm reduction by helping smokers reduce their use of tobacco, or as a pathway to other alternative nicotine replacement therapies.,” said a spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.