Vaporized, the Edinburgh-based e-cigarette firm, is planning to open 200 new stores on top of its existing 100 outlets in the UK in the next three years.

The company, which claims to be the country's largest vaping firm, said it will double its staff numbers to 1000 to bolster the expansion push.

The Herald:

Doug Mutter, director at Vaporized, declared: “With increasing numbers of smokers recognising the lifestyle benefits of switching to vaping, we are well positioned to meet this growing demand and truly cement our position as the country’s leading vaping specialist.

“Vaping represents a huge public health opportunity and the market will continue to grow as increasing numbers of smokers recognise its effectiveness in helping people to quit smoking.

“To meet this growing demand, we are set to embark on significant organic and acquisitional growth that will see our store footprint rise to 300 by 2021."

A review by Public Health England published in 2015 said vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking tobacco, however this year research by the University of Birmingham said e-cigarette vapour has a similar effect on the lungs and body that is seen in regular cigarette smokers.

Mr Mutter said: "Consumer education is crucial too and we will be investing heavily in our people strategy to ensure our teams are equipped to help smokers understand the evidence based public health opportunity of vaping products so that their positive impact can be maximised .”

Mr Mutter is calling on government to create new and proportionate regulations for vaping that removes it from existing tobacco laws.

He said: “Latest medical reports say that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than cigarettes, but government policy and regulations do not reflect this.

“We are calling for new regulations that will allow smokers to make informed decisions about vaping.

"The current advertising restrictions are stopping smokers from fully understanding the benefits of vaping.”