A company formed by ex-smokers to make e-smoking products has announced 80 new jobs and says it could be employing up to 1,000 people within a year.
The new jobs were confirmed yesterday in Waterford by Healthier Smoker Ltd, at an expansion of its manufacturing operation in Waterford city, which will also include a visitor centre.
The company says 40 of the new jobs will be in its 150 retail outlets and store concessions throughout the country, while another 40 are in its 24,000 square foot production facility at Six Cross Roads on the edge of Waterford.
Healthier Smoker was established two years ago and now employs 300 people, but says its rapid expansion, with demand for its products from the likes of China and the USA, means it could have 1,000 people on the payroll by this time next year.
It has gone from producing 1,000 bottles of e-liquid — which go into the e-smoking devices — a week 18 months ago to now producing 50,000 bottles per week. The plant expects to be producing 2 million bottles per week by the autumn and the need for a bigger manufacturing plant is already being anticipated.
Current investment is running at €3m, with an expected €10m investment by the time expansion plans are fully implemented.
Company spokesperson Stephen Ryan said the company is “leading the way” in international best practice. “Even the Chinese are buying from us in preference to their own manufacturers,” he said. “The fact that we have a 95% retention rate among people trialling the liquids speaks for itself and the response from customers certainly attests to it.”
Mr Ryan described e-cigarettes as “a healthy alternative to smoking” as they don’t contain the “numerous toxins and poisons contained” in tobacco cigarettes. “There have been some concerns about e-cigarettes but it is now generally recognised that they are a helpful and safe aid to reducing or quitting smoking.”
The potential of the business is “staggering,” he said, with Ireland capable of becoming a “world-class centre of excellence” for the production of e-liquids.
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