Will the United Kingdom be the first country whose public health system will be free to prescribe electronic cigarettes to smokers wishing to quit smoking? In any case, this is the possibility mentioned by the British government this Friday, October 29.
Indeed, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the UK. Every year there are 64,000 deaths caused by tobacco and an estimated 6.1 million smokers. Convinced for a long time by the effectiveness of vaping, which they count as 95% less harmful than cigarettes, the British intend to rely on it to accelerate the fight against smoking. Citizens will thus be able to benefit from an electronic cigarettes as well as e-liquids containing nicotine on medical prescriptions.
Indeed, vape manufacturers can now submit their products for approval by the British Health Products Agency.
The government is betting heavily on this campaign to reduce the number of smokers on its territory; it intends to conduct rigorous safety tests on the potential e-cigarettes distributed. Because if they bet a lot on the electronic cigarette, the British leaders also knew that the results would be very observed. By only spreading carefully checked products, they cover themselves against a possible “scandal” and thus jeopardize this hopeful campaign.
If improving the health of these citizens is a priority for the British government, allowing equal opportunities in the context of smoking cessation regardless of the social class of the smoker is also. This medical prescription will allow the poorest, for whom the probability of smoking is four times higher than the population in wealthy areas (find the complete study here), to benefit from appropriate and practical support. This campaign is part of the “rebalancing” of the country, a promise of Boris Johnson.
The UK is finally giving vaping the recognition it deserves. And this will allow the same time to have new data which will support the effectiveness of the e-cigarette in the context of smoking cessation. And it does not displease us.
Secretly, we also have the idea that this could quickly motivate countries that, like France, usually position themselves in a follower position to review their position vis-à-vis the electronic cigarette and give it greater confidence.
However, we cannot hide from you that a few questions are bothering us.
Let’s be clear, the prescription of electronic cigarettes by the medical profession is excellent news for us. Quality control of prescriptible products also seems essential to us. But isn’t there a risk of falling into the medical prescription only of “pharmaceutical material”?
From the first approach, we simply fear to see disappear what made us love the electronic cigarette. Creating your vape by choosing your set-up and choosing or creating your e-liquid is part of what attracts us to the world of electronic cigarettes. Will smokers manage to be convinced by sanitized products that do not reflect the very soul of the vape? Nothing is less sure!
But we at CAK believe it can be very beneficial for the market, which will benefit from new evidence of its effectiveness. We think above all that this will allow the poorest to benefit from quality equipment and adapted e-liquids that bring together the right conditions for a successful experience of the vape. What increases the trust capital in the e-cigarette by governments and thus motivates many smokers to join us?