E-cigarettes could be prescribed by NHS in world first
If the new research is correct, it raises the prospect of e-cigarettes being prescribed on the NHS. This would be a world first.
There are already calls for the e-cigarettes, which deliver a dose of nicotine without tobacco, to be handed out on prescription by doctors. The new evidence suggests they are at least as effective as traditional nicotine patches in helping smokers quit.
The study’s lead author Dr Lion Shahab said: “We don’t want to promote e-cigarettes to smoker who haven’t tried other methods of quitting smoking first.”
“But given that other methods have a 7 per cent success rate, there should be more discussion about whether e-cigarettes could be more widely available on prescription.”
“If we can get people using e-cigarettes long term, this could have knock-on public health benefits such as reducing smoking rates and thus reducing smoking related diseases.”
NHS Create Vape On Prescription
After consulting with the E-Cigarette Expert Working Group, a group of UK specialists that provided independent oversight and advice to the MHRA, the amended guidance was released.
Although e-cigarettes contain nicotine and are not without risk, professional reviews from the United Kingdom and the United States have concluded that they are less toxic than smoking. An e-cigarette with a medicinal licence would have to pass considerably more stringent safety tests (see the NHS vaping guide).
“The data is clear that e-cigarettes are less dangerous to health than smoking tobacco, and that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help individuals quit smoking for good,” said Dr June Raine, the MHRA’s chief executive. The amended licencing guidance we released today is an important first step toward the availability of safe and effective approved e-cigarette products.”
“Opening the door to a regulated e-cigarette prescription on the NHS has the potential to address the enormous differences in smoking rates throughout the UK, helping individuals quit smoking wherever they reside and whatever their background,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
According to numbers released by the Department for Health, about 64,000 persons in England died as a result of smoking in 2019, with an estimated 6.1 million smokers in the country.
Smokers who are wary about e-cigarettes would be more willing to try vaping if they have the certainty afforded by a medicines licence, according to Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH.
Benefits Of Vaping
Vaping is not just safer than smoking, it is vastly safer. Smoking kills about half a million people every year in the United States alone, and most of those are nonfatal lung diseases. Vaping doesn’t even burn tobacco.
Check out our guide on vaping tips for beginners.
Smoking is addictive. It makes you crave more nicotine, not less. But true addicts can quit any time they want to, because they don’t need it to feel normal. Vaping doesn’t make you crave anything. It’s far more convenient to vape than to smoke if you are trying to stop smoking, because it’s easier to carry vials of juice around rather than cartons of cigarettes.
The main reason vaping is safer is that the vapor comes out as water vapor rather than smoke, so there are no dangerous chemicals in it. The chemicals that are in the vape juice are either water-soluble or else neutralized by acids in your body; we excrete them within a day or two of vaping them.