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Sales of electronic cigarettes are ‘going through the roof’ in independent stores according to exclusive research seen by RN.

Figures from data company EDFM shows the total number of local businesses taking on e-cigs has risen steadily to just under 16% last year, with stockists now making nearly £50 on these products every week.

Analyst John Eastwood said: “E-cigarettes are now nearly on par with cigar sales through independent stores and are offering greater margins to retailers.”

Businesses say Nicolites have raced away from the field, thanks in part to an exclusive deal struck with the NFRN last year. A greater number of smokers cutting down on tobacco as part of New Year’s resolutions has also bolstered sales this month.