A throat cancer survivor and respected cancer researcher have praised e-cigarettes, insisting that vaping has saved their lives.

Around 13 years ago, smoker Graham Edkins feared for his life after developing throat cancer and Dr Robert Lees, despite his profession as a cancer researcher, couldn’t give up cigarettes.

But then, in came e-cigarettes, and the two quit completely. Just like that, their 30-a-day habits were obliterated.

After recovering from throat cancer, Edkins, 57, became such an e-cig advocate that he set up a vape shop in Burton, Staffordshire.

Edkins set up the store with Dr Lees, who he had met working at another vape shop and became friends with.

Their store, the ECIG Emporium, was opened a year ago.

The pair were initially sceptical, but then became believers in the e-cig, and were convinced to try them in a desperate bid to quit tobacco.

“It sounds stupid to say that I smoked when I had throat cancer, but of the people who have it, about 40 per cent of them are still smokers,” said Graham.

“That just illustrates how difficult it is to quit – it’s as addictive as heroin. E-cigarettes were just coming on the market then, in 2003, but when I got an e-cigarette that was it.”

Dr Lees also pointed out the financial incentive behind the switch to e-cigarettes.

“We had one family all stop together – four kids, all on a packet a day. Dad was on 30 a day and so was mum.”

“They did the usual putting the money they saved in a tin, but within a week they said this isn’t good enough, we need a bank account. Within a few weeks they had booked a holiday. They were spending more on cigarettes than they were on the mortgage.”

Despite the support from Graham and Robert, e-cigs are currently facing battles in the EU and the US, facing tough regulations.

This is despite a report from the Royal College of Physicians who recommended giving e-cigs to smokers to help them quit.