Imperial Tobacco is set to to sell its Puritane electronic cigarette in Boots stores.

It marks a significant step for traditional ‘big tobacco’ companies into the e-cigs market which has so far been dominated by brands such as Nicolites and E-Lites.

Imperial’s products, made by its Fontem subsidiary, will be on sale on the high street from Monday. The deal with Boots has lifted Imperial’s share price by 17p to £23.77.

BAT’s Vype e-cigarette, manufactured by subsidiary Nicoventures, is being advertised on TV and is available in Lloyds Pharmacy.