Even as a serious pandemic is hitting the world, many countries have organized themselves to allow smoking cessation to continue by authorizing the opening of vape shops. In Belgium, no health privilege, considered non-essential, stores specializing in e-cigarettes must remain closed.
Considered non-essential, the vape shops must remain closed. At first, the FPS Public Health thought of authorizing online sales, before changing its mind.
Like most non-food businesses, stores selling e-cigarettes closed at noon on March 18 as part of measures taken by federal authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Taken aback, some consumers find themselves destitute. « Why close stores specializing in vaping products while bookstores remain open for smokers?« , indignant a reader of our colleagues of RTL.be .
In Belgium, « all the vape stores are closed, there is even the police who come to see if the shutters are properly closed. It is impossible to supply anyone or to be supplied« , says Patrick, co-founder of the Belgian Union for the Vape (UBV-BDB), and employee in a specialized store in the province of Liège.
He tried to challenge Maggie De Block, the Minister of Health, on social networks, to obtain the reopening of these stores, but did not get a response.
« E-cigarette stores must close but can sell online and make deliveries«, first communicated Vinciane Charlier, spokesperson for the FPS Public Health. A little later, a decision is made in the opposite direction. The online sale of these products remains ultimately prohibited.