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World’s 1st VUSE Storefront Opens in Downtown Toronto [Photos]

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Imperial Tobacco Canada has opened a new retail store in Toronto that offers adult consumers a full-range of VUSE vapour products with the possibility of other stores opening in the future in other Canadian centres.

“The opening of our first VUSE store in Canada is an important component of our harm reduction strategy and an integral part of our goal to reduce the health impact of our business by offering a greater choice of less risky products to adult consumers,” said Ralf Wittenberg, President and CEO at Imperial Tobacco Canada.

“We have come a long way but there is still significant progress to be made. Health Canada’s acknowledgment of vaping as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes is indicative of the shift we’re seeing around the world. This global movement among public health authorities is still unknown to most smokers, and that is where our efforts must be placed: creating the necessary awareness among adult smokers to make the switch.

“As technology advances and social attitudes towards reduced risk products change, we believe that embracing the principles of harm reduction can play a key role in helping Health Canada achieve its goal of reducing Canada’s smoking rate to less than five per cent by 2035. We are particularly proud to be opening this store during these difficult times. This one location has the potential to have a positive impact on thousands of smokers in Toronto, and we look forward to opening VUSE stores in other Canadian cities when and where regulations permit.”

INTERIOR OF VUSE STORE WITH INTERACTIVE CUBE. PHOTO: JESSICA FINCH
INTERIOR OF NEW QUEEN STREET WEST VUSE STORE IN TORONTO. PHOTO: VUSE

Mathieu Nadon, Head of New Generation Products for Imperial Tobacco Canada, said the company is on this quest of transforming tobacco into building a better tomorrow.

“Up to now we were building our brands through traditional retail mainly and online and we decided to start our own retail space with this opening,” he said.

“The store will offer a full range of our VUSE vapour products. It will host future alternative products if we decide to enter into new space but really it’s all about offering less risky product of our Imperial Tobacco Canada portfolio to adult consumers in Canada.”

Toronto was chosen as the store location because it is the largest city in Canada. The store is on Queen St W.

“We’ll see how this one goes and if we’re able to secure good locations we will definitely be looking for more locations elsewhere in Canada.”

The company says multiple studies and academic journals have reaffirmed the less harmful nature of vaping products. Many health groups, including Public Health England, have estimated that vaping products are at least 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes.

“In order for these vapour products to achieve their full potential, it will require the federal and provincial governments to implement a science and evidence-based regulatory framework — a framework that allows and supports the appropriate communication to adult smokers, ensures the availability of these products to adults who are looking for an alternative to cigarettes, and enforces the protection of youth from gaining access to these products,” it says.

INTERIOR OF VUSE STORE WITH INTERACTIVE CUBE. PHOTO: JESSICA FINCH
INTERIOR OF NEW QUEEN STREET WEST VUSE STORE IN TORONTO. PHOTO: JESSICA FINCH

A select portfolio of Imperial Tobacco Canada’s vapour products will continue to be available at convenience stores.

“Obviously our store is a vape shop but we wanted to make sure it was beyond an ordinary vape shop so for any adult consumer - a smoker, a vapour - they would be able to discover our products like never before. That’s something we wanted to make sure we were able to offer - a one of a kind retail experience,” said Nadon. “We have immersive technology and expertise obviously with a VUSE flavour bar where you can navigate all the flavours and really understand the spectrum of choice that you have and we have a VUSE by you section where you can customize your device and really express yourself.

“That’s really a global store so if you go anywhere in the world you would see a similar store because VUSE is a global brand. That’s also a good thing. When we’re able to travel again consumers will recognize the brand and how it presents itself.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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