A Midlands pub is hoping to beat the smoking ban by offering customers "electronic cigarettes."
Last Updated: 12:01PM BST 24 Sep 2008
Pubs around the country have reported a decline in custom since the rules came in July last year, but landlord, Chris Giles of the Butler's Arms in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham believes he has found the solution.
The new E.cig smokes like a real cigarette and users get a shot of nicotine every time they inhale.
The device even produces a cloud of water vapour with every puff, though causes no harm to smokers.
The Butlers Arms started selling the fake cigarettes at the weekend after seeing them in a trade magazine.
Mr Giles said: "When it's freezing outside and chucking it down with rain it's a good alternative to going outside for a cigarette.
"We built a smoking shelter, but it's just not the same for smokers who have been marginalised by the ban.
"While we are completely supportive of the smoking ban we are still very conscious of the needs of our smoking customers.
"We are in autumn now and winter is not very far away, so these e-cigs have come at the right time."
Mr Giles' daughter, Becky, Assistant Manager at the pub, added: "It's been really successful already, we have had lots of people ringing up and asking about it.
"We've sold about 6 packs and it only went on sale at the weekend.
"I smoke myself and I've started using the electronic cigarettes on a night out.
"I'm not going to use them all the time, because I like being able to nip out for a break!
"They are not only healthier than normal cigarettes but really good value for money.
"They are really just like having a normal fag.
"Luckily we can tell people aren't really trying to light up because they electronic ones are black in colour with a blue light."
The device, which retails at £39.99 for a starter pack, uses a small replaceable cartridge filled with a dose of nicotine.
Users can choose between No nicotine, Low, medium or high nicotine, menthol, strawberry or cherry.
The makers of the product at The Electronic Cigarette Company say the vapour produced is odourless and contains no tar or carbon monoxide, resulting in no risk of passive smoking.
However the company say the E.cigs are just as addictive as the real thing.