After stinking of cigarette smoke for 24 years, Giannis Florentzidis is now smelling fruity.
He smoked 20 cigarettes a day and when he was undressing at night could smell the smoke on his clothes.
“I spent £5 a week on mints to stop my breath smelling. Now I’m breathing out the smell of strawberries,” he laughed.
The 41-year-old now ‘vapes’, using electronic cigarettes.
He had tried various other methods of giving up smoking over the years, but nothing worked.
“I tried patches and sprays but I missed having something to do with my hands, that action of smoking,” he said.
“I started on vapour cigarettes in January and I stopped immediately.”
Giannis, who owns the Cypriana fish shop on Ryton Street, Worksop, is so pleased with the result that he decided he had to spread the word.
So convinced was he of their effectiveness, earlier this month he opened The Vapour Store, on Watson Road, to sell them.
He went for training in Italy on how the e-cigarettes work and stocks a range of different flavoured liquids.
“I’ve had a good response, e-cigarettes are the next big thing and I’m selling quality products and liquids using natural fruit flavours,” he said.
Giannis lives in Worksop with his wife Maria and their seven-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.
Since stopping smoking he has noticed benefits to his health and has more energy for his children.
He said: “I first tried to stop smoking when my wife was pregnant with our first child because I worried about it.”
“I feel so much better now and when my cousin recently offered me a cigarette it tasted awful and I threw it away.”
“I don’t get any cravings, I really enjoy the strawberry flavour and it still gives you a hit at the back of the throat, which is what smokers enjoy.”
It’s also made a financial difference.
“I was spending £195 a month on cigarettes, now I’m spending £18,” he said.
One customer, 26-year-old Nicola from Creswell, bought the berry mix flavour.
She said: “It definitely works and I can feel the benefits already after six weeks, I can smell and taste better.”
“I smoked 20 a day for ten years. I had tried patches and lozenges but they didn’t work for me.”
The liquids are slotted into a battery-powered holder and inhaled just like a cigarette.
Health development manager Donna Ramsden, who works with the Bassetlaw Stop Smoking Service, said e-cigarettes were really popular but they didn’t offer them.
She said: “It’s simply because they haven’t been approved by the medicine regulator NHRA yet.”
“Until they are regulated, which could be in 2016, we won’t be supplying them.”
Some of the liquids contain nicotine, and some are without.
There is also tobacco flavour for those who still want the taste of a normal cigarette.