Vaping to be prescribed on the NHS

Posted 6th December 2015 by junglist
According to reports today in the Sunday People and the Mail, the New Year will see “ecigs” being prescribed on the NHS. Ecigs “Likely to cost NHS £20 per kit and £10 a week for each patient's cartridge”.

The Sunday People penned that a Whitehall source stated: “We didn’t want to make a song and dance about it because GPs would be overrun by people demanding it. But this is something we’ve been pushing for.”

You can view online that MP Steve McCabe asked a question and public health minister Jane Ellison responded at the end of last month, with a positive answer:

Q - Asked by Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) Asked on: 20 November 2015

“To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what (a) the Government's policy is and (b) guidance his Department has issued on the use of e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking; and if he will make a statement.”

A - Answered by: Jane Ellison Answered on: 30 November 2015

“The Government believes that vaping/using e-cigarettes is significantly less harmful than smoking tobacco products. Evidence suggests that smokers can substantially benefit their health by fully substituting the use of e-cigarettes for smoking. Public Health England has been working with Local Stop Smoking Services encouraging them to be open to the use of e-cigarettes, where clients choose to use them to support their quit attempts, alone or alongside other nicotine replacement therapies and the behavioural therapy that the services offer.

“The first e-cigarette was licenced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency earlier this month. The Government continues to encourage applications for licensed medicinal products to enable both general practitioners and Local Stop Smoking Services to prescribe products which have demonstrated that they meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.”

So some good news here for vapers, it may appear that the Government does understand that ecigs are beneficial due to their reduced levels of harm.  So why they’ve made such a dog’s dinner of the TPD to date we can only don our tin foil hats and speculate.

The Daily Mail states “It followed last month's decision by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to license British American Tobacco's e-Voke.”  Whilst we can find the Voke product online, details of the e-Voke are sketchy, the only details we could find are on the MHRA site.

The Voke product itself is simply a nicotine inhaler, certainly not what we would recommend to those seriously trying to give up smoking and make the switch to a less harmful delivery system.  The “e” may well give off a bit of vapour, but we doubt very much that there will be a custard version and, in our experience, it is the range of flavours and the amount of vapour that a good set up gives that helps individuals stop smoking for good.  Cig-a-likes are proven to be the least effective ecig for those looking to stop smoking so our suggestion is not to call your doctor, but to visit you local vape shop.