Coventry convenience store owners are helping customers find smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

Coventry convenience store owners are helping customers find smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes

Ryan Smith 1st Aug, 2022

A COVENTRY convenience store owner has been credited with being one of the best in England for helping people quit cigarettes for smoke-free alternatives.

Aman Uppal, who owns the family-run ‘One Stop Mount Nod’, was one of the most successful case studies in ‘The Big Switch Report’ which looked into whether English retailers were helping smokers move away from cigarettes by providing better access to alternative products.

Among his successes have been three generations from the same family and the document shows other shopkeepers across the country are now doing the same.

The analysis was conducted by KAM and Lake Research and was commissioned by Philip Morris Limited (PML).

The report found 58 per cent of Coventry convenience store owners would stop selling cigarettes in favour of smoke-free alternatives.

Over two-thirds of Coventry convenience store owners believe local retailers could be more involved in helping adults to switch to smoke-free alternatives, while 60 per cent of them think smokers would appreciate more support from retailers on this issue.

Half of all Coventry retailers said they felt it was likely their community would be ‘smoke-free’ by 2030.

Aman said: “As a retailer, I have an opportunity to introduce these products into my community and get people away from cigarettes which is something I believe in.

In England, 47 per cent of store owners said they could be more involved in helping adult smokers switch to smoke-free alternatives.

Nearly two-thirds of former smokers who use smoke-free alternatives feel convenience stores are good places to be advised about switching away from cigarettes.

The report also found many challenges to implementing this, including insufficient knowledge and concerns about building a sustainable business without selling cigarettes.

The research involved over 1400 convenience store owners across England and more than 1000 former adult smokers.

Christian Woolfenden, Managing Director at PML, said: “The Big Switch Report reveals how switching adult smokers from cigarettes to smoke-free products has become a new pillar of community-focused retailing.

“Rather than retaining customers as cigarette smokers, convenience retailers are building stronger connections over the countertop to improve awareness of, and access to, alternative products like e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products.”

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