The NHS hope to prescribe E-cigarettes to reduce smoking rates in the UK.
The NHS could soon be prescribing e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking.
The medical regulator is currently working with e-cigarette manufacturers in a move fully supported by the Government with the goal of making the UK smoke-free by 2030.
MHRA (the Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency) will be publishing updated guidelines to pave the way to a smoke-free UK by 2030 through medical licensed e-cigarettes to smokers.
Manufacturers of e-cigarettes are now being encouraged to contact the MHRA and submit their products for evaluation and approval through the same regulatory process that other medicines and equipment must go through before being used by the NHS.
If any e-cigarettes pass the process, it will make England the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes to smokers.
Once an e-cigarette receives approval from the MHRA, it will be down to individual clinicians and health practitioners as to whether they’re prescribed to a particular patient or not to help them quit smoking.
NHS advice hasn’t changed that non-smokers and children are strongly advised against the use of an e-cigarette as they do still contain nicotine and aren’t risk free… though expert clinicians in both the US and UK have stated they are much safer than smoking is.
Smoking remains the leading cause of premature death and, whilst rates are at a record low in the UK, there are still over six million smokers in England alone.
There are also huge variations across the country, with smoking rates over 20% in some areas but below 10% in others.
This country continues to be a global leader on healthcare, whether it’s our COVID-19 vaccine roll-out saving lives or our innovative public health measures reducing people’s risk of serious illness. Opening the door to a licensed e-cigarette prescribed on the NHS has the potential to tackle the stark disparities in smoking rates across the country, helping people stop smoking wherever they live and whatever their background. – Sajid Javid – Health and Social Care Secretary
2019 figures show that almost 64,000 people die in England from smoking or smoking-related issues which is why the OHID (Office for Health Improvement) is also throwing their weight behind this project to support it.
Reducing health disparities across different regions in the UK, including smoking rates, and keeping people generally health has wide ranging effects on the individual, their wider family and society and the economy as a whole.
To help empower goals that support that, the OHID will be working at a national, regional and local level with the NHS, academia, NonProfit’s, scientist and researchers to ensure they receive the help they need.