The NHS could be the first in the world to make e-cigarettes available on prescription.
In 2015 PHE commissioned a report finding vaping is 95% safer than smoking cigarettes. Then in 2017 the NHS officially recognised e-cigarettes as a quit smoking aid. This latest stance cements vaping as an effective tool that could help the UK’s 6.1 million smokers switch to a safer alternative.
Vaping kits available on prescription?
The last few years have seen masses of independent research into vaping. Studies regarding e-cigarettes have shown that of 3.6 million smokers in Great Britain that have moved on to vaping, around 65% have quit cigarettes completely.
Vaping has also been shown to be twice as effective as nicotine patches or gum in helping smokers to quit.
Many current vapers warmly greeted the news, but at the same time, many asked the simple question, “Why wait?”
Why wait to see if e-cigarettes will be available on prescription?
A disposable vape pen can cost less than your average packet of cigarettes. A basic starter kit costs little more than 2 packets.
Vaping products may have once felt a bit ‘niche’. Now, low-cost, fuss-free and easy-to-use devices are readily available to buy everywhere. Vaping Kits can be bought from local supermarkets, vaping stores or even petrol forecourts.
In recent years Totally Wicked has also been working closely on quit smoking projects with local authorities. NHS Trusts and healthcare businesses have also used our products to empower smokers to transform their lives.
Liam Humberstone, Totally Wicked Technical Director, elaborates, “The announcement that MHRA will be streamlining the route to vape product medicines authorisation is brilliant news for vaping.
It is a real vote of confidence in the products’ safety and effectiveness in helping people to stop smoking completely.
Working with scores of forward-thinking quit smoking providers has allowed us to make significant strides. Our partners have achieved incredible quit rates among their clientele. This has not needed a long, costly and complex licensing procedure.”
There have been murmurs that Big Tobacco could step-in with their own prescription device. This may leave a bitter taste in the mouth for some. This is an industry that was happy to cash-in on promoting dangerous addiction to tobacco. Should they be allowed to profit from a solution to a problem they created? It certainly raises some moral and ethical concerns.
It’s clear to see that UK public health bodies are often embracing e-cigarettes now. However a huge number of smokers are not correctly informed about e-cigarettes. This is often because attention grabbing media coverage has misled them in the past.
The news published last Friday is encouraging. It should instill confidence in those wanting to stop smoking for good. But for now, it’s down to the smoker to take the first steps in freeing themselves from the chains of cigarettes.
This means any individual has a decision to make. Either wait for e-cigarettes on prescription, or visit their local store to make the switch today.
Ready to take the first step, or know a smoker who needs to? Find your nearest store
Updated January 2022
In a further update in January 2022, Sajid Javid is said to have plans for a “vaping revolution” that will allow GPs to prescribe e-cigarettes on the NHS. This is part of his plans to increase life expectancy within deprived communities. A study released by Imperial College London in 2018 revealed that England’s richest people are living for up to a decade longer on average than the poorest, a statistic that Sajid Javid described as “moral outrage”. Smoking currently kills more than 74,000 people in the UK each year, and is responsible for at least half the difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest in society.