A MAJOR supermarket chain with stores in Burton and South Derbyshire has announced a deal to stock electronic cigarettes.
Sainsbury’s, which has stores in Union Street, Burton, and Civic Way, in Swadlincote, revealed it had struck a deal with Nicolites to stock its products in shops across the country.
The news comes after the rise of the devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, was met with a mixed response.
Tina Jones, tobacco control manager for Derbyshire Community Health Services, said: “There is growing evidence that young people are using these products and the last thing we want to do is start promoting smoking to young people.”
But Phil Bennion, Liberal Democrat MEP for the West Midlands, said he had found little evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes were harmful.
He said: “In an ideal world no-one would be addicted to nicotine, even in this less harmful way of absorbing it, but we don’t live in an ideal world and it seems very clear that it is better than to smoke.
“In fact all the evidence I have seen suggests e-cigarettes could be a game-changer in the decades-long public health battle to stamp out tobacco smoking.
“They can help people break their addiction more effectively than treatments like patches.
“More and more experts who have looked into it believe this could be a breakthrough that could save millions of lives.”
Only recently Derby County FC came under fire for signing a sponsorship deal with an e-cigarette firm.
Nicolites will be stocked in the health and beauty section of Sainsbury’s.
They are already stocked by other retailers in the town including Tesco, Asda and Superdrug.
E-cigarettes are designed to look and feel like real cigarettes, but are battery-powered products containing liquid nicotine, which is inhaled as a vapour. They contain no tobacco and do not burn, therefore do not expose users to tar and other carcinogens found in normal tobacco cigarettes.