Vaping received a huge boost of confidence after the UK Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) approved e-cigarettes for sale via prescription.
In the UK, one of the most pro-vaping countries in the world, smoking rates have plummeted since the introduction of e-cigarettes. Youth smoking is at a record low, and there is clear evidence that almost all vapers are current or former smokers.
The UK is rated number one in the world for freedom from tobacco influence. Its independent scientists, who conduct annual reviews of vaping evidence, have consistently found that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.
Yet, influenced by propaganda from anti-vaping groups, millions of people in the UK continue to smoke cigarettes. Those same cigarettes will kill an estimated 50% of those smokers.
The prescription process is likely to be difficult and only accessible to larger companies. Vape devices are already highly cost effective and a fraction of the cost of smoking. As a stand alone, it’s unlikely to make a massive difference to smoking rates.
But the real benefit is the endorsement of vaping by the government. Ignoring the influence of global lobbying groups funded with hundreds of millions of dollars, the UK is sending a clear message - that vaping is an effective way to quit smoking, and safe enough to be prescribed as a medicine.