THE future of electronic cigarettes became clearer earlier this year when the government announced that the products would be regulated as medicines by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
However that doesn’t mean, as some people seem to think, that they will be available only through pharmacies in the UK.
The products themselves will require a licence and that might mean that the number of different brands decreases.
But once a licence is obtained they will be able to be sold as over-the-counter medicines in much the same way as basic painkillers like paracetamol are distributed today.
The UK government announcement said: “The quality of nicotine-containing products can vary considerably which is why licensing them as medicines will allow people to have the confidence that they are safe, are of the right quality and work.”
Jeremy Mean, the MHRA’s group manager of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: “The decision announced today provides a framework that will enable good quality products to be widely available. It’s not about banning products that some people find useful, it’s about making sure that smokers have an effective alternative that they can rely on to meet their needs.”