PMI Response to Prescribed Vapes

Posted 24th November 2021 by Dave Cross
Philip Morris International (PMI) has applauded the U.K. Government’s announcement to clear up medicalised vape products so prescribed ecigs can help it achieve its Smoke-Free 2030 ambition. It called on regulators around the world to follow the UK’s example and open up access to reduced harm alternatives to continued tobacco smoking.

Recently, the U.K. government announced its plan to simplify the pathway to license electronic cigarettes and other inhaled nicotine-containing products (NCPs) as medicines in England. This would enable GPs to prescribe ecigs to patients who struggle to quit using traditional methods and currently lack confidence in vaping due to widespread misinformation.

PMI says, “the U.K. already has one of Europe’s lowest smoking rates, supported by a high rate of smokers who have switched to better alternatives. This proposal makes the U.K. the first country in the world to encourage the medical licensing of e-cigarettes via prescription as a route to further lower smoking rates, particularly among low-income smokers.”

Gregoire Verdeaux, Senior Vice President, External Affairs at Philip Morris International commented: “The U.K. is a global leader in medicine, science and public health. Expert scientific reviews in the U.K. and U.S. are clear that smoke-free alternatives—such as e-cigarettes—offer adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes a better alternative. We welcome the U.K. government’s continued recognition that regulated e-cigarettes and other inhaled nicotine-containing products, while not risk-free, are less harmful than smoking and can significantly benefit public health.

“The U.K. government’s progressive approach to tobacco harm reduction has already contributed to a high number of smokers using better alternatives like e-cigarettes to move away from cigarettes, and also one of Europe’s lowest smoking rates3. This newly simplified, regulated prescription pathway brings an additional opportunity to help those in the poorer areas of England—where smoking prevalence is disproportionately high—abandon cigarettes.

“The U.K. government also recognizes the importance of differentiated taxation of non-prescription smoke-free products, incentivizing adult smokers who don’t quit tobacco and nicotine altogether to switch to less harmful alternatives by taxing the most harmful products—cigarettes—the most, and less harmful non-combustible alternatives, the least.


“Income inequality affects smoking rates across the globe—smokers in lower income households are less likely to have access to these smoke-free alternatives. As representatives from health ministries across the globe are shortly set to gather for an international meeting on tobacco control, we hope that other governments and regulators recognize the additional actions that the U.K. government is taking to offer better alternatives to adults who would otherwise continue to smoke cigarettes.”

PMI says does not believe that future medically licensed smoke-free products should be sold exclusively in pharmacies, because access through a wide range of regulated channels is critical to adoption.

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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