E-cigarettes on prescription is an unlikely prospect any time soon
British American Tobacco stops production of e-Voke
2 years ago, a medical license was approved for an e-cigarette device, the e-Voke. This is the only e-cigarette that has been given approval and meant it could have been prescribed on the NHS. However, manufacturers of e-Voke, British American Tobacco (BAT) has announced that the device is unlikely to ‘see the light of day’ due to production difficulties.
Updated: 13th March 2020
David O’Reilly, group scientific director at BAT, said:
“We were never really interested in prescription products. At that time, the medicinal route was the only route to market, but smokers do not see themselves as patients.
“Now there are additional routes to market, and we are devoting significant time and resources to extending consumer choice and delivering ever better next-generation tobacco and nicotine products.”
Is there a place for e-cigs on prescription?
With no other e-cigarette devices having a medical license, it seems e-cigarettes on prescription is an unlikely prospect any time soon. Linda Bauld, a professor of health policy at Stirling University, said:
“I am disappointed not to see at least one type of electronic cigarette available on the NHS to help people quit smoking and which is significantly safer than cigarettes, available for a small prescription charge.”
Bauld also went on to say:
“I never thought that it was ideal however for a tobacco company to be making a pharmaceutical product, and this does not surprise me. Some tobacco control experts did not think British American Tobacco’s heart was really in this.”
It is often disputed whether e-cigarettes on prescription would be beneficial. It is argued by the IBVTA that:
“Medicinal products or prescribing vape products on the NHS limits choice, making a smoker reliant on a specific brand or shop. Critically, prescriptions place the responsibility and power for someone switching into the hands of a GP or smoking cessation professional. This is hugely disempowering.”