The first shop selling only e-cigarettes has fired up in the Capital and it seems smokers are gasping to get there.
Entrepreneurial cousins Ben Kaelin, 24, and Ross Anderson, 25, opened The Vapour Lounge in Lauriston Place at the beginning of August and they now serve between 40 to 50 people a day looking to kick their habit.
Business is booming to such an extent that they have opened a second shop, on Broughton Street.
The “modern day tobacconists” stock only e-cigs, which contain a nicotine solution but produce no smoke.
Several A-list celebrities, including Kate Moss, 39, Britney Spears, 31, and Johnny Depp, 50, have been spotted “vaping” in recent months.
The battery-powered “healthy” cigarettes heat up the nicotine solution, giving users a hit while producing only steam vapour.
Ben said: “We opened in Lauriston Place in August and it just took off. We couldn’t believe the amount of people coming through the door.
“It’s been going so well that we’ve decided to open here in the New Town, too. We have a 50/50 mix in terms of customers, those who are looking to give up completely and those who are looking to change to a healthier alternative.
“Most people who come in are a bit dubious about them but when they try them out they can’t believe how similar it is to the real thing without any of the nasty chemicals.”
The pair were inspired to open begin their business after Ross noticed the ease in which his own father ditched the fags.
He said: “My dad who used to smoke 40 a day bought some e-cigs online and instantly gave up. I myself used to smoke 20 a day, but I packed them in straight away when I got my own e-cigs.”
The Vapour Lounge is not the only city business to be benefiting from the growth of the e-cigarette industry.
Skycig, a major e-cig maker, only this month announced plans to double its workforce after being taken over in a £6 million deal by Lorillard, the third-largest manufacturer in the US and owner of the best-selling brand Blu eCigs.
Speaking to the News at the time, Graham Birse, of Edinburgh Napier University’s business school, said: “The company is clearly on-trend. Electronic cigarettes are a more acceptable way of getting your nicotine and a way of stopping smoking over time. The industry has grown significantly . . . who knows how big it is going to become.”
Peanut butter flavour a top seller
E-CIGS comprise a battery, atomiser and a cartridge containing nicotine, suspended in a solution of propylene glycol from which theatrical smoke is made.
They contain no tobacco and do not burn, therefore do not expose users to tar and other carcinogens found in tobacco.
The e-cigarettes don’t just come in tobacco flavour, The Vapour Lounge’s biggest seller at the moment is peanut butter.