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Table 2 Open ended responses—qualitative coding—vape shops

From: How a sample of English stop smoking services and vape shops adapted during the early COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed-methods cross-sectional survey

Vape shops Theme/s Example
What arrangements did you put in place for vulnerable people who smoke? Distancing measures in shop
Increased information for customers, e.g. online/telephone consultations
Safe remote delivery
Telephone support
Longer remote contact hours
Increased online range
Partnership with social care
Safe collection from shop
Extra costs for: webhosting/paypal
PPE/cleaning products
Petrol/car insurance for delivery
Charitable donations for social care partnership
Low value delivery
Some had no extra costs as systems already in place
“We made contact-free daily home deliveries and sanitised products before sealing them in packages. We also provided (and always have) text, telephone, and Facebook support whenever needed. We also provided free of charge, hand sanitiser if requested, and brought food supplies to those who could not get items themselves”
We are trying to identify new pathways to good practice, please tell us anything that has worked for you Same day home delivery
Local pick up service
Zoom webinar for smoking cessation counsellors/practitioners to demystify e-cigarettes
Click and collect
Keeping upbeat for shielders
Facebook messenger to exchange photographs so could advise on device consumables
Extra care and attention paid to regular shielding customers
The above expanding on the arrangements above
No testers (negative)
Limits to numbers in shop
“We have stopped offering testers, as even with the hygiene tips they are handheld devices and could increase risk of a virus spreading”
Have you had any feedback from customers about the service change (please briefly outline) Customer satisfaction (both informally and google reviews, the latter good for business)
Smoking relapse prevention but also
Smoking relapse
Business growth
Delays to delivery
Staff and customers found it hard to get to grips with new online working
“Customers appreciated the same day delivery but could not understand why we were not classed as an essential service”
“Some customers who used the Local Pickup Service have told us that it stopped them from buying cigarettes”
“Absolutely. We have had countless 5-star Google and Facebook reviews during and after lockdown, all of which were positive. It has helped our business grow and has motivated the staff to continue to provide the best service possible to all our customers”
“Many of our regular customers went back to smoking due to the easier availability of cigarettes when shops were closed and online delivery was chaotic across the country. Devices don't sell much online as people need the advice and personal consultation”
Are you considering implementing any of changes that you made during COVID-19 in the longer term? Yes. Please tell us: Text Maintain e-commerce
Keep local pickup option
Keep local delivery service
Coordinated efforts
Shop closure
“Ongoing efforts to strive to work better with smoking cessation stakeholders”
“We are planning on going fully online with no shop front due to recession fears and a second spike”