How Inovape helps to change smokers’ lives

Stores was launched after founder’s life was changed by using e-cigarette

Few independent retail businesses can claim to have been launched due to a life-changing experience.

New Street retailer Inovape Ltd, however, is exactly that, after its founder discovered first-hand the benefits of vaping compared to smoking and wanted to pass on what he had learned.

Chris Breslin had been a heavy smoker for 35 years and tried everything to give up, reaching the stages of ‘giving up trying to give up’ as he describes it, until he came across vapes.

He knew his health was seriously at risk if he continued to smoke and since quitting cigarettes he has never been in better shape, describing the moment as ‘transformational’.

Electronic cigarettes, or vapes, simulate smoking a traditional cigarette by dispensing a vapour derived from liquid ingredients in a refillable cartridge.

Typically, a press of a button begins a process to heat the liquid inside the cartridge, so it evaporates to form a liquid vapour. Inhaling this vapour delivers a hit of nicotine and flavouring straight to your lungs.

The kits satisfy nicotine cravings (the nicotine is not harmful. Addictive, yes, but no more harmful than caffeine) but without any harmful tar or toxic chemicals and, according to a 2015 Public Health England study, are more than 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

Inovape Ltd stocks more than 150 flavours of premium quality vape liquids, kits, and accessories. It sees its purpose as educational to help customers kick the habit in a sensible and professional way.

Chris, a former senior manager for Shell, Massey Ferguson and Currys, was buying bits of vaping kit off the internet but felt he was being offered little explanation regarding what was right and wrong. He spent hundreds of pounds before he found a combination he thought ‘felt like a cigarette’ and satisfied his nicotine craving.

Once he got the combination right he quit smoking overnight.

“I’d been trying cigarette-type things, which were successful but left me wanting,” he explains. “When I began using a vape tailored to my specific needs I could get it close to what I has as a cigarette.

“I thought, there needs to be a way to help people understand this process the first time round and not be constantly experimenting, so I opened a shop!

“Essentially our shop is a school-type education environment.”

Shoppers are welcome to taste all the liquid flavours and nicotine strengths available and Chris describes this as important to make sure the whole experience is correct.

“You want the kit to be delivering it to feel right, but you also need the nicotine levels to be right so you’re getting satisfaction without coughing and, finally, you want the flavour to be enjoyable. It’s taking every excuse off the table.

“There’s no inhalation of the toxic chemicals or tar found in e-cigarettes. It’s just moisture.

“We treat people as individuals to allow them the best chance of giving up smoking, if they really are committed to it.”

Chris and his team are ‘vapers and ex-smokers’ themselves and approach every transaction or meeting with a customer with professionalism and ongoing support.

“The sense of victory you get when you overcome the habit is incredible and this is what drives us.”

This is the type of feedback Chris and his team receive daily, and helps push them to provide the best service and guidance they can.

“Every day we get people in the shop telling us how their lives have changed. It makes us feel fantastic that they’ve achieve a healthier lifestyle. And a cheaper habit! The costs of vaping are about 75% cheaper than cigarettes.

“We’re here to provide guidance and encouragement. We know people fall off the wagon and might have a cigarette, but we tell them they’ll be fine. Just keep at it and it will work spectacularly.

“This is a very serious business that we run extremely professionally, but it’s also a terrific and satisfying business to be in.”