A chain of shops selling vapes and international snacks has expanded onto Barrow high street.

After setting up stores in Dalton, Millom and Ulverston, WOW Vape & Snacks said Barrow was the 'obvious next choice' when it came to expanding.

WOW Vape & Snacks said they focus on providing good customer service and friendly staff.

Their main goal is to help people quit cigarettes. Manager Steve Smith said he was a long term smoker for 30 years and tried many times to quit cigarettes using patches, drops and gum but nothing worked until he found vapes. Now he is ten years cigarette free.

The shop, at 6 Portland Walk, opened its doors shortly before Christmas.

Steve said: “It was manic. After getting the keys at the end of November we had just three weeks to clean, decorate and set everything up before opening. Normally we would do this over a couple of months, we really pulled it out of the bag.”

The vape shop also imports American and Asian snacks that you can’t get in most UK stores and supermarkets, which has proved popular.

Their best sellers are coffee flavour Monster Energy Drinks and Takis, a rolled corn tortilla chip.

Things have changed in the vaping industry in recent years as the focus shifts from bigger kits to disposable devices. Steve said that while he stocks disposables, he encourages people to choose bigger kits because they are more economical in the long run and hopes they will be banned in the future because of their environmental impact.

According to the NHS vaping is not completely risk-free but it poses a small fraction of the risk of smoking cigarettes as vapes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.

Steve believes it is too early to tell what health concerns may arise from vaping but he insists it is a far better alternative than cigarettes. Although he worries about the sale of illegal devices as this trade often contains illegal substances and high levels of nicotine.

He said vaping is usually linked to health issues in young people who are not fully developed and should not be smoking.