Vaping Device Becomes First To Get Drugs Licence
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted a licence for an e-cigarette to be used as a medicine to help people stop smoking for the first time. The move leaves the way open for the e-Voke vaping device manufactured by British American Tobacco to be prescribed by doctors to patients attempting to quit smoking.
In a statement the MHRA said; “We want to ensure licensed nicotine containing products — including e-cigarettes — which make medicinal claims are available and meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy to help reduce the harms from smoking,” Around 2 million adults use e-cigarettes in the UK despite the fact the safety of the products is the cause of much debate. A study by Public Health England (PHE) has claimed that e-cigarettes are ’95% less harmful than tobacco,’ the findings though were criticised by medical journal the Lancet which described the evidence as ‘weak.’
Dr Tim Ballard of the Royal College of GP’s says doctors are unlikely to recommend the use of vaping devices until further evidence demonstrating their safety is produced.”Potentially, there may be a place for the prescription of e-Voke as part of a smoking cessation programme, but GPs would be very wary of prescribing them until there was clear evidence of their safety and of their efficacy in helping people to quit,” he said. Its reported that two thirds of people who used e-cigarettes in combination with NHS stop smoking services in the year up to April 2015 managed to successfully quit.