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Vape shop parody takes aim at government legislation with ‘flavourless’ experience

May 22, 2024


Vaping firm Riot Labs and Northampton vape shop Right Vape have taken aim at the government’s new vape legislation with a ‘vape shop of the future’.

Opening ‘The Flavourless Vape Shop’ on Kingsley Park Terrace in Northampton, it aimed to draw attention to the implications of a looming tax rise and flavour ban proposed by the UK government, which Riot Labs say will have a devastating impact on people trying to quit.

The meticulously designed shop – from the signage to the interior decor – illustrated every detail the hypothetical future would hold if the ban is in full effect, to give vapers and smokers a taste of what might come – quite literally.

Customers faced two choices: One side of the shop which contained less flavour, less value and less choice. Or they could step to the opposite side where they’d be served by Right Vape at 2024 prices with access to the products they came in for.

The shop launch even featured a Rishi Sunak lookalike to help cut the “opening” ribbon and serve customers the proposed expensive and flavourless vapes.

“We’re committed to supporting smokers who want to quit and have already helped thousands to stop over the past seven years. The proposed vaping legislation is going to be so detrimental to everyone who wants to quit smoking,” Ryan Michlig, Right Vape shop owner, said.

“Partnering with Riot Labs to open the Flavourless Vape Shop and bring awareness to the new legislation was a no brainer. We wanted to create an experience that showed what the legislation could be like in real time, and get invaluable feedback from customers about how it’ll impact them.”

The launch of the shop even entered the mainstream after taking an unexpected turn when the Rishi Sunak lookalike (real name Sanju) was egged by an angry member of the public who mistook him for the real PM.

Videos of the chaos unfolding have now seen millions of views on TikTok leading to Sanju being inundated with media requests, and being covered in the Times, Star and Express.

Ben Johnson, chief executive of Riot Labs, which is taking the fight to the government through its Riot Activist programme, said the new legislation will give people “less choice, less value and ultimately less reasons to quit smoking at all.”

“Adults depend on flavours to support their quit smoking journey and this legislation is going to have a detrimental impact on smokers trying to quit. There are better ways to deal with youth vaping such as an enforceable licensing scheme for all retailers,” he said.

“Despite the unexpected egging, it was all a resounding success. Sparking conversation around the proposed flavour ban and its potential implications for the vaping community, whilst giving customers the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

“We’re committed to continuing this dialogue and advocating for sensible, evidence-based regulations that protect public health without unfairly penalising responsible vapers and smokers looking to quit.”