The United Kingdom’s regulator for medicinal items, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has officially classified electronic cigarettes as medical devices. This is the step taken in an effort to what may become the official marketing of electronic cigarette devices as cessation devices. This is very big news for the vapor products industry, and while it is not fully relevant to the US market, it is a major step for the industry as a whole, and it sets an incredible example the US needs to take note of.
Prior to this landmark decision on the part of MHRA, vapor products were not permitted to be recommended by general practitioners as they were not considered licensed products. Because of this monumental decision, vapor products will now be able to truly compete with established cessation methods in the UK, such as nicotine gums and nicotine patches, and physicians as well as other healthcare providers will be able to recommend them for usage.
This is an excellent example being demonstrated as a model for nations such as the US, whose own policies and politics regarding e-cigarettes are not yet established. Across the pond, we are currently awaiting the FDA to make a final decision on the ability of today’s e-cigarettes to even continue being sold.
The health agencies in the UK have been staunch and stubborn in regards to their opinions of e-cigarettes, and they have seen the potential they hold for quite some time now. Last year, Public Health England’s report on e-cigarette use, and their independent findings that vapor cigarettes are 95% healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes made worldwide headlines, having come from a legitimate source making such a bold claim. The UK has been blatantly vocal about the promise these products hold for people looking to quit smoking, and with 20% of the British adult population as smokers, they are truly committed to their betterment and health.
We applaud the UK on their decision, which we know was based on a great amount of research, studies, and common sense. We are excited to see where the market is headed, and look forward to what these revolutionary products are going to do for the public health sector in the near future.