Ten years after the smoking ban, vaping is a £1bn business | Business

Mark Twain, so the story goes, used to joke that giving up smoking was the easiest thing in the world – after all, he had done it “thousands of times”.

The US novelist, though, did not have the option of e-cigarettes – the quitting phenomenon that started in the US and is now a rapidly growing business here with its own “cloud-chasing” subculture . UK sales of vaping products surged 50% last year to reach £1bn, and are on course to exceed £2bn by 2020.

It is 10 years ago this weekend that laws came into effect banning smoking in virtually all enclosed public places in England. According to Cancer Research UK there are now 1.9 million fewer smokers in Britain compared with when the smoking ban was introduced – the lowest smoking rates ever recorded in Britain. But nearly 3 million Britons are now vaping.

“More and more smokers realise that e-cigarettes are so close…

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