Parents in Southend have been gathering signatures for a petition after a local businessman opened a vaping and e-cigarette shop aimed at CHILDREN. 

Kiddipuffs opened its doors on Southend High Street this morning, but owner Richard Foo-May was forced to temporarily pull the shutters down at lunchtime due to angry parents. 

Mr Foo-May said: ‘I opened Kiddipuffs with one simple goal – to give children from 9-16 the best possible education in the benefits and drawbacks of e-cigarettes.’

‘The more of the mystery that we remove now, the less chance that they will try harmful cigarettes and other substances in the future. After all, we only sell flavours without nicotine.’

‘We specialise in child-friendly cartridges such as Haribo Fried Egg and our flagship blend, Maltesers and Oreos. If these milkshake shops can offer every flavour under the sun to kids, why shouldn’t they be able to try vaping?’

‘We have passed all of the relevant licensing and health inspection requirements – technically we sell toys that emit steam vapour.’

‘We already have ten primary and secondary schools within Southend who have agreed to let children vape with our products after the summer holidays. When infant pupils see the older kids trying them, it will open up a valuable conversation about growing up.’

‘To be honest, I think a lot of parents have overreacted today. After all, I never remember my local corner shop owner getting lynched for selling those chocolate cigarettes!’

‘In the wrong imagination, a Sherbert Dib-Dab could be the finest Colombian Booger-Sugar couldn’t it? Parent hysteria is trying to destroy a Southend business yet again.’

We spoke to Marie Goody, Southend Borough Council’s Director of Child Health. 

She said: ‘It’s great that so many schools are on board to give children the best possible education in e-cigarette safety. It’s all about allowing our kids the freedom to make their own way in the world.’

‘I have already had a number of conversations with Mr Foo-May, and he assures me that everything will be within the law.’

‘Each Kiddipuffs device will even have colourful flashing lights to attract as much attention as possible to the smoker – this is an incredibly authentic vaping experience.’