The pubco said its tenants, numbering around 5,500, will now be able to stock Nicolites at a "market competitive rate" as part of its “strategy of broadening the products and services” it offers to its publicans, the first such deal in the trade.
An Enterprise Inns spokesperson said: “It is early days of the arrangement and we will continue to monitor the level of uptake.”
Nicolites managing director Nikhil Nathwanu added: “We are making our products available at the heart of the social smoking circle — the pub trade — which has always been very important for us. You often hear smokers say ‘I only have a cigarette when I’m out drinking’ and so it has always made sense for us to have a presence where even non-core smokers are tempted to have a couple of cigarettes.”
The move comes as an increasing number of managed operators are banning ‘vaping’ in their outlets.
Greene King said the use of e-cigarettes was not permitted in its managed houses “to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of all”, while Stonegate Pub Company said they are not allowed within the non-smoking areas of its venues due to the “remarkable likeness” to cigarettes.
Mitchells & Butlers, Fuller’s and JD Wetherspoon all banned ‘vaping’ in their premises in 2013 to avoid confusion among customers and staff.
Another leading tenanted operator, Admiral Taverns said it was working closely with another leading brand to help licensees across its estate understand the legal implications and potential opportunity that stocking e-cigarettes presents, but the decision to stock rested in the licensees hands. “With more and more customers transferring to e-cigarettes, we view them as a potential additional revenue stream for licensees, should they choose to stock them,” a spokesperson said.
Other tenanted pubcos — including Punch Taverns and Greene King — said that the decision to stock and allow vaping or not was down to individual pubs.