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Kicking butts . . . Infused owner Tracy Pile with some of her range of vaping products for her new store on Thames st. PHOTO: GUS PATTERSON

It is full steam ahead for Oamaru’s newest business.

Infused, a store predominantly selling electronic cigarettes and e-liquids, opened its doors in the former Natural Health building in Thames St last week.

Owner Tracy Pile said vaping was something she was passionate about, after it helped her give up smoking four years ago.

“My son put me on to it, and I have definitely noticed the financial and health benefits,” Ms Pile said.

With a background in sales and marketing, Ms Pile said she enjoyed educating people about vaping.

“I know a lot of people who are smokers and try vaping once and don’t like it, but there is usually a reason for that. I want them to come in and talk around different options they have.”

Ms Pile was encouraged to open the store by her son, and also by research done by Vaporium, a Dunedin-based company that concluded Oamaru could support a vape shop.

“It is a growing thing, and I have been really pleased with how much interest there has been already.

“I have had smokers come in and ask about making the switch, and people that are already vaping.”

Last week, the Ministry of Health launched a new website providing information and advice about vaping.

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa said there were many benefits of switching from smoking to vaping, including reducing health risks and the health of their children.

“Vaping can replace nicotine but without the toxins found in cigarette smoke.

“The combustion of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke is what causes almost all of the harm from tobacco.”

The Government recommended vaping only as a smoking-cessation method, and did not recommend non-smokers taking it up.