There are many reports which indicate that smoking e-cigarettes is less risky than smoking regular cigarettes.
British American Tobacco (BAT) has received approval from regulators within the UK to sell their e-cigarette vaping device as medication for quick smoking. This is the first approval for this type of product within the UK.
As a result of this UK government approval, BAT’s e-Voke product is now allowed to be prescribed by the UK’s National Health Service as a means of helping Britain’s citizens give up smoking.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently declared their intention to ensure all licensed products containing nicotine, including e-cigarettes that claim medicinal value meet appropriate standards for quality, safety, and efficacy and are available to help reduce the harm caused by smoking.
The company also states that the license for e-Voke was granted by the UK government toward the end of last year.
E-cigarettes, which provide a heated nicotine-laced vapour, are considered by many to be a lower-risk alternative to smoking, although the technology is still relatively new and little is known about the long-term risk.
E-cigarettes are considered by Public Health England, the UK’s public health agency to be at least 95% safer than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Tobacco cigarettes are known to cause lung cancer and to kill almost half of those who smoke them.
According to BAT’s website, they are evaluating ways to commercialise the e-Voke product, which contains pharmaceutical grade nicotine.
In Britain, there are more than two million e-cigarette users. According to Action on Smoking and Health, almost one-third of these users are ex-smokers. Current smokers make up the other two-thirds.
The emerging vaping market is estimated to be worth around $7B. The big tobacco firms, including BAT, Japan Tobacco, Philip Morris International, and Imperial Tobacco Group are working hard to find their place in this market.
The MHRA is working with tobacco companies to submit applications to license e-cigarettes and other products containing nicotine. Their goal is to increase the number of applications for e-cigarette and next generation nicotine delivery products.