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E Cigarettes to be Regulated as Medicines: July Update

26th July 2013

E Cigarettes to be Regulated as Medicines: July Update

The E Cigarette has to be seen as the most successful invention ever in the tobacco alternative market.

It is designed to look and feel like a real cigarette. Even emitting artificial smoke. However; doesn’t contain tobacco. Users inhale a nicotine vapour which looks like smoke without the carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. They are harmful to the smoker and others around them.

Experts have predicted that millions of lives could be saved if tobacco smokers switched to e-cigarettes.

Last month the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said:

  • that all e-cigarettes
  • and other nicotine products (NCPs) would have to be licensed by 2016. Manufacturers can apply for licenses before then.

E Cigarettes to be Regulated as Medicines: July Update

Also, The devices which are used by an estimated 1.3 million people in Britain. After approval will be sold as medicines by GP and smoking cessation advisors on prescription.

However, e-cigarettes will not be prescribed on a widespread basis:

  • unless the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
  • Also, The public health watchdog, backs their use over other means of helping smokers kick the habit.

This the new licensing regime risks forcing the industry into the hands of the big pharmaceutical and tobacco companies.

There is a big concern:

  • firstly, that the e-cigarette will not survive such regulation,
  • with companies having to follow the strict medicinal licensing rules
  • which have been estimated to cost millions of pounds.

We know this is something that other companies have tried and not been able to comply with. We do also know that this is not the final decision. As this will be decided on a European level. We for one hope that sense prevails.

It is also worth noting that electronic cigarettes are designed to be an alternative to the tobacco cigarette. Incidentally will not be being regulated as a medicine?!