A former 50-a-day smoker who managed to break his 34-year habit is now selling the products which helped him stop.
Paul Law, 49, owner of electronic cigarette shop Puff Dad E in Highbridge Street, Waltham Abbey, set up the business online shortly after quitting in February last year.
After the success of the website he decided to open the shop in May and has been surprised by the interest and high volume of customers.
Mr Law, who has lived in Waltham Abbey for 28 years, said: “I didn’t expect the footfall here.
“Some nights I can’t shut the doors because there are still so many people in the shop.
“People are more aware of the health problems of smoking now and some can’t afford to smoke anymore and I offer them an alternative.”
He added: “Quitting has had a huge affect on my health: I used to stop breathing in my sleep and then wake up suddenly.
“I used to sound like a car starting first thing in the morning.”
Puff Dad E now stocks 80 flavours of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) including Red Bull, Polo and a new ‘gourmet’ range including Lemon Meringue Pie.
There are also flavours available mimicking those of many brands of cigarette.
The battery-powered devices allow the user to inhale flavoured vapour containing differing levels of nicotine, from 0mg up to 30mg.
Although business is booming, Mr Law is aware of problems with the industry such as young children using the devices.
Puff Dad E doesn’t serve anyone under 18 and he asks for identification if he thinks a customer is under 21.
The businessman said: “I think there needs to be more regulation of the industry - the devices have lithium in the batteries which can explode if people don’t use the correct charger.
“They have the same connection as an iPad but an iPad charger is far too strong.
“We spend a lot of time with customers telling them how to use the devices and also how to maintain the batteries.”
The e-cigarettes vary in price from £10 to £150 and can last a matter of weeks up to several months depending on use.