ONE of the largest chains of vape stores in the UK has opened a new location in Basingstoke.

VPZ has today (December 6) opened a new store in Wote Street bringing with it an £80,000 investment to the town and creating five new jobs.

The store which specialises in vaping and alternative tobacco products is the 148th branch of the chain to open.

With the store having its first trading weekend this weekend it will offer customers double loyalty points on all purchases, plus customers looking to make the switch will be able to get their hands on a free e-cigarette starter kit.

VPZ Director Doug Mutter said: “We are excited to be opening the doors of our Basingstoke store as part of our ambitious growth plans across the UK.

“At a time when many businesses are exiting High Streets across the country, we are committed to creating jobs and investing in communities throughout the UK like we are doing here in Basingstoke.

“Each new store opening helps us to achieve a greater reach, providing us with a platform to engage and educate even more smokers on the benefits of switching to vaping.”

The Basingstoke store will also be equipped with a carbon monoxide testing monitor and lung capacity monitor allowing customers to regularly track their journey to becoming cigarette free.

Customers who continue vaping at the end of the 30-day support programme will also be rewarded with a voucher to help them continue their stop smoking journey.

The investment and commitment to improving the health of adult smokers across the UK has been made at a time when local authorities are cutting stop smoking services throughout the country.

Mr Mutter added: “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.

“Consumer education is crucial too and our knowledgeable staff are always available with advice and support that helps make it easy for smokers to make the switch and give up cigarettes once and for all.”