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First licensed e-cigarettes to become available on NHS


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GPs in the UK will be able to prescribe e-cigarettes to those trying to quit smoking for the first time from Monday. The move comes despite growing suggestions that the full health consequences of smoking e-cigarettes are still unknown.



"We want to ensure licensed nicotine containing products -- including e-cigarettes -- which make medicinal claims are available and meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy to help reduce the harms from smoking," the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement last week.


Around 2 million UK adults use e-cigarettes, which work by by heating nicotine-laced liquid that turns into a vapour which users inhale. The safety of e-cigarette products has long been debated, with several prominent studies providing contradictory evidence.




A Public Health England study claimed that e-cigarettes were "95% less harmful than tobacco", but evidence was described as "weak" by medical journal The Lancet. A study published last week in the Journal of Oral Oncology found that vapour from e-cigarettes may damage DNA or even kill human cells.


Sources claim that the NHS will prescribe e-Voke e-cigarettes, which are produced by British American Tobacco.





Is it just me, or does anybody think it's a bit of a coincidence that the first (and maybe only) e-cig to be approved in the UK, has been "developed" and sold by one of the largest tobacco companies?

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