NEWS

2012-02-09

e-cigarette shop

A REVOLUTIONARY high street store has become the first shop in Britain to only sell flavoured electronic cigarettes.

The fag-free tobacconist, which opened in Rugby, Warwickshire, just two weeks ago is the brainchild of German group Smoke-No-Smoke - whose flavoured e-cigs offer a healthier and cheaper alternative to smoking.

Employing five smartly dressed staff, the clean and stylish store- which looks more like a mobile phone shop than a cigarette shop - will be the group's head office and the home for their on-line business in the UK.

Punters have already been drawn in by the hundreds of flavours on offer and the store's 'try before you buy' policy.

Jim Lacey, Managing Director of the company, said: “Smokers are the target audience. 

"The E-cigs are considerably cheaper than regular cigarettes, do not contain tar, tobacco or harmful carcegines and are also not affected by the smoking ban. 

"The beauty of having the store is that people can drop into the shop and try the hundreds of flavours before buying which they cannot do online.

"People love the tester station, their eyes light up and they just buy it. It tastes nice and it doesn't leave a bad taste in the mouth like real cigarettes do. 

"Our products are high end and very different from the disposable E-cigs you can buy elsewhere."

Despite only opening two weeks ago, the shop has already started to attract high-end clients - with a rich Lady landowner surprising Jim and his staff with an appearance at the store.

"Her name was Lady Denbigh, she came in and has gone away to recommend it to her Lord husband," said Jim.

"She was very well dressed and she was talking about the hunt and that kind of thing. It was obvious she was well off. 

"She bought a lot of our most expensive stuff. They are upper class products that we sell, everyone who comes in buys something"

Smoke-No-Smoke's sister company in Germany have already opened six stores in the last month and 40-year-old Jim confirmed they plan to roll the brand out across Britain as soon as possible.

And with flavours ranging from almond, cherry and banana to brand, Coca-Cola and champagne, it isn't hard why to see the Smoke-No-Smoke shops could spell the end for the traditional tobacco smoker.

"I'd say 95 per cent of people who have come through the door buy the products," added Jim.

"It's fantastic, there are very few people who try the products and say 'no'.

"I think it's a combination of a number of factors really. The cost is 80 per cent cheaper than cigarettes and the sensation is as real as it can be to smoking without actually smoking."

Electronic cigarettes simulate the act of tobacco smoking by producing an inhaled mist that bears the physical sensation, appearance, and flavour of inhaled tobacco smoke.

They are designed to deliver the experience of smoking without the adverse health effects usually associated with tobacco smoke.

And it appears the opening of Britain's first E-cig shop has gone down well with smokers who struggle to find the motivation to quit for good.

Van driver Steve Thomas, 36, said: "I think the shop is a great idea. I stumbled across it by accident when the wife was dragging me around town shopping but now I am always going in there.

"I smoked 20-a-day for as long as I can remember and kept saying I would quit but never really committed to it. 

"Having an actual shop where you can try the things before you buy them is really helpful because I was always wary about what kind of rubbish would get sent to me if I bought it online.

"The shop has given me the kick-start I needed to properly quit and I don't see why it won't take off around the country. The smoking ban means more and more people want to quit so it could be a really popular idea."