Warrington based Notar (UK) Ltd, distributors of the new substitute cigarette, clinched the deal with Cherwell within weeks of launching the new product that has been developed in Germany using nano-technology.
The Similar looks like a cigarette, feels and tastes like a normal cigarette and is not one of the many electronic devices to hit the market since the introduction of the smoking ban. It does not need to be lit to be ‘smoked’ and therefore can be used anywhere.
“We are absolutely delighted with our deal with Cherwell ,” said Notar (UK) Ltd director Andrew Wrench, speaking from the company’s Cheshire HQ. “This deal will make the world’s most realistic smokeless cigarette available to a significant number of the population who want to smoke legally – or more accurately, who need a cigarette when they can’t have one.
“Recent statistics suggest there are still 11 million smokers in this country who have to sneak outside their places of work or pubs and clubs to enjoy a cigarette. The Similar smokeless cigarette will change their lives.”
Mr Bryan Ford, sales director with the Cherwell Group, Britain’s biggest independent vending machine company, said the Similar smokeless cigarette would be available in Greater London, the North West and the North East in February. It would be available in clubs and pubs throughout the rest of the country by the end of the year.
The company was also working on plans to have the Similar available in new sales units aimed at the retail sector by 2011 when proposed new legislation could make the display of tobacco products in retail outlets illegal.
Mr Ford, speaking from the company’s Whitchurch head office said: “This is a massively exciting development especially for the licensing trade which has seen an enormous downturn in footfall as a direct result of the ban on smoking in public places introduced in 2006/7.
“Seven out of ten people visiting pubs are smokers so the development of the Similar will have a tremendous effect on pubs. Publicans need to attract people onto their premises if their businesses are to be viable and the availability of a smokeless cigarette that can be ‘smoked’ on the premises will have a tremendous positive impact on the trade.”
The Similar became the first smokeless cigarette to be sold for use by air passengers last summer when Ryanair made it available to their customers. Other airlines are expected to follow suit soon.
The move was highly significant as so-called electronic cigarettes are not allowed for use on flights
Mr Wrench, who launched Notar (UK) Ltd with his co-director Dennis Jones and two investors last December, said the fact that he was a committed smoker enabled him to immediately see the potential of the Similar.
“I transferred to Similar without a hitch having been a smoker of conventional cigarettes for years. It feels and tastes like the real thing yet you don’t have to light up. It really has made life so much easier for me.
“Now when I smoke my Similar there is no smoke, no smell, no nuisance, no bad breath and no over-flowing ash trays. More importantly there is no pollution and no carcinogens to damage my health and the health of those in my vicinity. Transferring to Similar has made me healthier – and now I don’t have to go outside to smoke.
“And unlike e-cigarettes there is no battery to go flat and no gadgetry to go wrong.”
Similar smokeless cigarettes come in two flavours and retail at approximately £6 for a pack of ten. (equivalent to 20/30 normal cigarettes)
For further information click onto: www.notaruk.co.uk or call: 0844 8793283.