A RAPIDLY expanding Swansea company is a key driving force behind the electronic cigarette industry.
Decadent Vapers has been trading on the outskirts of the city for the past two and half years and is now trebling in size every year.
The business now employs 27 staff from its office at Clarion Court in Llansamlet.
It was founded by Peter Cole who came to Swansea to study political science in the mid-1980s and decided to make his home in the city.
Mr Cole had been a smoker from an early age and discovered the benefits of electronic cigarettes after reading an article on them in New Scientist magazine in April 2009.
The 45-year-old said: "I gave up by accident really.
"I never went back to my pipe
"I had smoked all my life and had my first cigarette when I was 11.
"Electronic cigarettes are an alternative to smoking.
"It is a healthy alternative and it can be cheaper."
A spokesman for Decadent Vapers said electronic cigarettes act as a replacement for traditional cigarettes.
He said: "Although similar to cigarettes in their appearance and usage, e-cigarettes contain neither tar not tobacco and the remaining nicotine is thought to cause just one per cent of the harm of regular cigarettes."
Decadent Vapers manufactures and supplies nicotine liquid to retailers of electronic cigarettes in the UK and around the world from its Swansea site.
Mr Cole said: "Every day I look at the client list we seem to have added a few more countries.
"We still do more than 50 per cent of our turnover in the UK but export is growing fast because it is the bigger market.
"It helps that up until now almost all our business has been internet driven so it really doesn't matter where we are based.
"Times are very difficult for most companies but you are always going to get some that are bucking the trend."
The Decadent Vapers owner said his business has also benefited from the smoking ban in Britain which has forced smokers to stand outside for a cigarette.
He said: "Some of it is also down to health and it can be significantly cheaper if you find a device you like."