A DEAL has been inked which will take Blackburn's premier vaping brand into more than 440 WHSmith stores.

Bosses at e-cigarette and e-liquid giants Totally Wicked have clinched perhaps their largest ever single deal by partnering with the national newsagents.

Before now the Stancliffe Street firm had secured cross-promotions with the likes of Blackburn-based Euro Garages and Bargain Booze franchises.

But the new arrangement should give the company an even greater potential reach, with WHSmith retaining a major presence across the nation's airports, railway stations, service stations and even hospitals.

Marcus Saxton, chief executive, said: "It's great to partner with such a prestigious retailer as WHSmith.

"Our vision is to evolve the vaping proposition to empower a greater number of smokers with an alternative choice and, the Totally Wicked brand can play a leading role in this."

Totally Wicked, which was founded by Jason Cropper 11 years ago and now has Fraser Cropper at the helm as managing director, is a founder member of the Independent British Vape Trade Association.

And management have been clear that they remain independent of any major tobacco company or pharmaceutical industry control or influence.

An early pioneer of the vaping trade, the outfit now has 150 branded stores, including seven in East Lancashire alone.

It is also an official training wear partner of Blackburn Rovers, as well as being the title sponsors of St Helens RLFC's Langtree Park stadium.

Julian Urry, the vaping company's retail director, added: "I am delighted that Totally Wicked and WHSmith will be able to provide consumers with greater access to some of our premium range of products.

"As the number of people vaping in the UK continues to grow, vapers are seeking easier access to purchase vaping products, in particular, e-liquids.

"Selecting the right partner to represent our brand and sell our products is extremely important to us.

"WHSmith is an ideal partner, having over the past 225 years built a reputation for delivering outstanding customer service, and with 445 high street stores stocking Totally Wicked products they provide a great addition to our brand."

WHSmith was unavailable for comment as the Lancashire Telegraph went to press.

Earlier this year the retailer also signed a deal with the American-based e-cigarette firm JUUL for their network of travel stores.