Our Full Interview With Lindsay Hall Of Vampire Vape
We speak to Lindsay Hall, Brand Marketing Manager of Vampire Vape, to find out more about the brand’s beginnings, what it has in store for its customers, and how confident she feels about the Government’s target to make England smokefree by 2030.
Here’s what she had to say.
For anyone who doesn’t know the backstory behind Vampire Vape, can you tell us how the business started, how it grew, and where it is today?
Vampire Vape was founded in 2012, and for the past ten years, our main commitment has been to help our customers quit smoking.
What started as an at-home passion project for our two founders has developed into an international company, Flavour Warehouse, that distributes products to over 80 countries around the world.
We’ve completed several acquisitions since 2012, and multiple vape brands now fall under the Flavour Warehouse umbrella, with Vampire Vape being our most prevalent brand.
We are so proud to have won multiple awards and recognitions over the past decade, and our most recent accolade is the Vapouround Hall of Fame 2022 award. This is an unbelievable achievement for the company and our colleagues, especially as we celebrate our tenth-year anniversary.
What does a typical day look like for you – or is there no such thing?
It’s hard to break down what a ‘typical’ day looks like for me.
My role is largely about making important decisions that ripple out in perpetuity. I’m in a position where I can communicate transparently with all my staff, but the nature of the position means sometimes you have to steer the ship the best way you know.
Sometimes it’s smooth, and occasionally you hit the rocks. But in the meantime, you find your pleasures where you can.
You recently expanded your Koncept range to bring vapers some of your most popular flavours as 100ml shortfills. Can you give us an overview of the range and how it’s been received so far?
We initially launched our Koncept range to make our most popular flavours accessible to those who predominantly use sub-ohm devices.
Admittedly, things were a little slow in the beginning. But we were lucky enough to appeal to a fan base that gravitated towards the range.
After receiving a good deal of requests, and provocative testimonials, we decided to expand into a 100ml range. We’ve heard a lot of good things from customers so far and we hope this positive feedback continues.
Without giving too much away, what plans do you have for the short and long term?
We’ve got many exciting things planned over the next 12 months.
We are working on a detailed new product development plan that includes plenty of new flavours and ranges Vampire Vape fans will love!
In the very short term, we are about to release a new range which will hopefully help vapers transition away from using disposables.
Our international team is also very busy visiting vaper expos all over Europe, and Vampire Vape will surely make appearances at the major expos in the UK next year.
We always look forward to these, as they present a great opportunity to showcase new products, speak with industry colleagues, and meet our customers and fans. Their feedback and conversations give us invaluable insights into what we should work on in the future.
You’re a Blackburn-based company. How important is it to you in terms of your identity, and what work have you done to give back to the local community?
Throughout our journey at Vampire Vape, we have always been based in and around Blackburn.
We have recently sponsored Darwen Youth Zone, a community of volunteers who work towards building a space for the young people of Darwen. This space will help create opportunities for employment and development within the community.
We have work experience and workshops scheduled with Darwen Youth Zone to give the young people in our community an insight into the jobs on offer when they leave education.
As we approach Christmas, our colleagues will also contribute to our annual food bank collection for Blackburn Food Bank.
What are some of the most rewarding, exciting, and challenging aspects of running a multi-million-pound global vaping retailer?
It’s great to work in an industry that helps smokers move to a safer alternative. I find it hugely satisfying watching an increasing number of smokers turn to vaping.
This growth in vapers has helped our business continue to grow over the years, but this growth comes with many challenges.
These challenges differ every day, but the recurring challenges are operational capacity, keeping up with regulatory and compliance changes, and the differing rules in the various countries in which we operate.
We are very fortunate to have built a team of over 300 people, many of whom have been in the industry from the start, so we are very well-positioned to tackle whatever the industry throws at us.
Vaping has risen rapidly over the past decade, and a record 4.3 million people are now vapers in the UK. What does this say about the benefits of vaping, and how much optimism does this statistic give you for the future?
These stats are an extension of the devotion we work with.
Most ex-smokers will tell you that vaping is an excellent substitute for cigarettes, and there’s plenty of evidence out there that shows it’s far healthier than smoking.
While we haven’t invented vaping, we like to think we’re contributing to a better world. And we’re very optimistic that more people will make the switch as vaping remains a less costly alternative and technology becomes more advanced over time.
Simply put, people are waking up. The horrid consequences of smoking, which have affected every family across the nation to some degree, are increasingly becoming a thing of the past.
Although there’s been an increase in the number of vapers, part of that increase is among school children aged 11 to 15. How much of a concern is this for you, and how vital is it for retailers across the country to be diligent with regard to age verification?
This is a huge concern.
Vaping should be considered a substitute for smoking tobacco above all else. Unfortunately, less than credible distributors are cornering the market by supplying underage, non-smoking children with devices.
Vape products – mostly fake devices – can be sold to underage people with impunity. Underage people who have fake vape goods in their possession will likely not know the difference between a genuine and fake product and will also be far more unlikely to report criminal activity.
Criminal distributors consider children and underage people their best customers for these reasons, and the fact that they contain some nicotine means they’ll keep coming back.
These are worrying trends, but we have complete faith that government legislation will change so that it favours reputable, legitimate distributors who are simply trying to create a healthier world.
It’s hugely important for licensed distributors to always follow the law because there are no real benefits to breaking these laws.
Frankly, it’s shameful that age verification procedures aren’t being followed by all distributors.
Despite current trends, we’re confident that we’ll see a crackdown in the near future that’ll help create a better world.
Cancer Research UK has estimated that the Government is seven years behind its commitment to making England smokefree by 2030. And this figure is almost double that for the most deprived communities. How do you assess the scale of the task ahead, and what role can vaping play in helping the Government to achieve its ambitious target?
It certainly won’t be easy. It’s a huge mountain to climb, but so is anything worth doing.
We’ve always seen it as a priority to reach out to smokers across the nation and make them aware of the benefits of vaping.
Reaching these people isn’t an easy task, though, and while vaping is a fantastic substitute, we find that some people just find tobacco too difficult to quit.
As you said, a large majority of smokers predominantly come from deprived areas, and with the shape of the country right now, it’s hard to convince people to stop buying cigarettes.
Smoking is a cathartic habit, so when you’re in an unfortunate position, it can be extremely challenging to give up what you may feel is the only way to relax in a world that seems to be crumbling around you.
We’re grateful that we can provide these people with a substitute that can bridge the gap for their biological addiction.
At the same time, we understand that everyone is different; the reason you do the things you do are unique to you.
The Government’s target to achieve a smoke-free nation by 2030 is extremely ambitious, and we love that. Time is our only luxury, so we wholeheartedly agree that we should ditch cigarettes as soon as possible.
Will we achieve this target? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain; we’ll continue to work tirelessly to get information out there, reach people in disenfranchised areas, and supply people with a healthy nicotine alternative that’ll prolong the lifespan of our nation and create a happier, healthier world.