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E-Voke is the first device to be marketed as a smoking cessation aid by BAT

Before e-Voke, the Voke nicotine inhaler had received medical clearance

Last November, Voke, British American Tobacco’s electronic cigarettes had been granted  a license from the British Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) responsible for regulating medicines. Officially awarded as a medical device for smoking cessation, an e-cigarette can also be prescribed on the NHS (National Heath System) by physicians since January 1, 2016.

After Voke, a nicotine inhaler, the electronic cigarette e-Voke is the second product manufactured by BAT to be granted a licence by the MHRA. In all likelihood, the arguments in favor of Voke against the electronic cigarette, will soon be updated.

Physicians are reserved on financing a lifestyle choice

“It will be important to address the issue of people phasing out, and ultimately quitting, their use of e-cigarettes rather than continuing to use them indefinitely” -Dr R. Siva
The Royal College of General Practitioners, a physician’s panel, issued a mixed opinion on this announcement. Dr. Tim Ballard, the vice-chairman, spoke a safer alternative compared to smoking but believes it would not be right that the NHS finance the British lifestyle choices. A similar comment arose from Dr R. Siva (Croydon Health Services NHS Trust) at the the winter meeting of the British Thoracic Society, in early December.

 

The cost would amount to £20 (about €27) for the kit plus a weekly charge of £10 (just under €14) for the treatment. Regarding medical devices, expenses could rapidly rise since each consultation with a physician costs £50 pounds (about €68) to the health system. “General Practitioners would be very wary of prescribing them until there was clear evidence of their safety and of their efficacy in helping people to quit” further added Dr Ballard.

A spokesman for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said his organization was defending the idea that the “electronic cigarette” could help smokers stop smoking but it was necessary that further studies are being conducted. For the Ministry of Health, these devices can now be prescribed alongside other nicotine substitutes.

The availability of a medical electronic cigarette will not influence prescriptions of the nicotine inhaler device. “Both products will co-exist”, told a member of the New Nicotine Alliance. “The main fear with respect to the e-Voke in particular is that it is an outdated technology.” He added “We fear that smokers would not be happy with the specified devices.” According to the former, cost support by NHS risks of “further bucking up non-smokers against vapers. ”


Update

No information is currently available regarding the commercialization of those products on the UK market.