Smokers are being offered a handy way to get their nicotine fix thanks to a revolutionary cigarette replacement gel that is rubbed into the hands.
Nicogel is a water-soluble gel made using an extract from the tobacco plant stem that has been treated to remove as much nicotine as possible. It gives users a similar hit to smoking a cigarette but without the damaging effects, and can reduce a smoker's daily tobacco intake by as much as 80%, the company claims.
The product is launching this month in cigarette-style packs through an exclusive deal with Booker, backed by ads in the trade press and sampling. Each pack has an rsp of £3.50 and contains 14 gel sachets, with one sachet lasting for up to four hours.
The odourless gel, which does not leave a residue, dries 40 seconds after application and is being marketed as a product to satisfy cravings in places where smoking is banned, such as the cinema, at work or on a flight.
It starts to work within a minute and provides an instant hit, closely mimicking the smoking experience. It can also be used to help smokers trying to quit and is a convenient alternative for those who don't like the taste of nicotine chewing gum or who have problem getting patches to stay on their bod.
Amanda Sandford, research manager at anti-smoking lobby ASH, said there was potentially a big market for such a product.
"It will be interesting to see what smokers think of it, as many people want to take nicotine but can't light up," she added. "A product that can offer some sort of smoking experience but that's not as harmful is to be welcomed."
The company claims it is the world's cheapest cigarette replacement method and predicts strong sales.
Stefan Chomka