E-cigarettes On Prescription – Bloomberg, Phillip Morris Inc and the NNA Respond
Reactions to plans for the UK to introduce e-cigarettes on prescription are still coming in, and now Phillip Morris Inc has hinted it might be one of the first to apply.
And consumer advocacy group the New Nicotine Alliance [NNA] whilst welcoming the vapes on the NHS, say we as vapers should be ‘wary‘…more on that in a moment.
The anti-vaping groups out there have been surprisingly quiet, however a Bloomberg backed
hit piece oops…sorry I meant opinion piece, has called the idea ‘worrisome‘ – well they would wouldn’t they!
It is an experiment that other countries will watch closely and one that seems to prejudge the answer to some pretty key questions.
Will prescription vaping have the desired impact on smokers?
Will it have any undesirable, unintended consequences?
Is it a good use of public funds?
There is a danger that, on all three counts, the answers won’t vindicate the decision.
Not exactly a damming indictment…anyway, enough of bloody Bloomberg…
Bloody as in, he/they have the collective blood of a billion smokers on their hands if they/he/them keep up with the ludicrous and dangerous anti-vaping campaign.
E-cigarettes On Prescription – Will Phillip Morris Inc Apply?
Just to be very clear…when it comes to e-cigarettes on prescription, the NHS will NOT – at least at this stage – be approaching vape companies with an open cheque book looking for an NHS exclusive vape kit.
In fact, it’s quite the reverse, as in companies – from the vaping industry, Big Tobacco or any other field – needs to approach the NHS with a product that will have to pass through stringent tests and trials.
This new announcement has streamlined the whole process, but it’s still a bit of a mountain to climb and will take plenty of cash.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, we have had an e-cigarette pass through before and that was the original VOKE – owned at the time by Big Tobacco’s BAT.
They pulled the plug on that just before it was ready to go to market…I suggest that may have been due to the cost vs profit, but who knows.
Phillip Morris Inc is one of the first Big Tobacco giants to welcome the news of possible e-cigarettes on prescription…could that signal they’re currently crunching the numbers with an idea to enter what could be an extremely lucrative market?
I’m not saying they are, but it would make sense.
A spokesman said:
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 rates.
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.
Can’t argue with that…
As to if PMI will be submitting an e-cigarette for NHS prescriptions remains to be seen…I’m pretty sure they’re considering it…
E-cigarettes On Prescription – the NNA Remains Cautious
The New Nicotine Alliance has welcomed the idea of e-cigarettes on prescription, but reminds us all that a decade ago the big plan was to take vaping down the medicinal route.
It was this move by the EU that led to the formation of the NNA, and it was its fight that means you can easily buy that new mod, pod kit and juice you’re currently vaping on.
I’ve said it many times, we really do owe that organization a lot…join for free and donate here.
The NNA also points out – what most of us suspect – that any NHS approved e-cigarette to be given out on prescriptions would most likely be:
…bland and uninspiring due to precautionary barriers imposed by authorities…
Add to that most smokers reject the idea they’re ‘ill’ – then why the need for a ‘medicine’?
The NNA concludes:
As consumers, we should be very wary of this proposal being employed by public health organisations to insist that it is the only way of bringing vape products to market.
Vaping products and accessories should continue to be sold as consumer products under a twin-track approach, as recommended by PHE since 2014.
It is also important that the sale of other safer nicotine options such as nicotine pouches and heated tobacco are not restricted or encumbered by the new policy.
…On a political level, Mr Javid’s announcement and support for vaping is very good news.
It re-emphasises that government and NHS support e-cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy.
“A Positive Proposal…”
The message coming directly from the Secretary of State for Health is also a timely reminder that the UK delegation to the WHO FCTC’s Conference of the Parties (COP9) meeting in early November should resist any efforts by anti-vaping activists to impose binding bans or restrictions on vaping products.
We trust they will take heed and do so.
While the media headlines were overly simplistic, this proposal is a positive one, albeit one which poses more questions than it provides answers.
It is a development to be welcomed but progress towards it should be watched with care.
Pretty much what I’ve previously written…ooo get me ha!
Interesting times indeed, and it all bodes well for the future of vaping in the UK…let’s hope more countries sit up and take note.
Read the complete statement from the New Nicotine Alliance.
E-cigarettes On Prescription – UK Parliament Question and Answer
Via the ASH website:
On November 1st 2021, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth MP tabled an urgent question to “ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to make a statement to the House on the Government’s announcement that e-cigarettes will be available on prescription.”
In response, Minister for Vaccines and Public Health Maggie Throup said:
- that action against smoking was at the heart of the mission to level up and become smokefree by 2030
- a licensed product would enable e-cigarettes available on prescription and would give health professionals greater confidence on their use
- if a product was put to the MHRA today there could be an 18 to 24-month process for that product to be licensed
- we are quite a long way from any e-cigarette being licensed and provided as a prescription medicine
- the Government supported the use of e-cigarettes as a gateway process to stopping smoking
- the Government would soon publish a new Tobacco Control Plan with a sharper focus on health disparities.
Responding to the Minister, Jon Ashworth MP said he:
Welcomed the announcement and asked for a timeframe when the Minister will provide more details on having a licensed product and when to expect the first prescriptions for e-cigarettes to be issued – stressed the importance of backing it up with specialist support services and the need to reverse cuts made to public health budgets.
Asked if the Minister could guarantee there would be no further cuts to smoking cessation services.
Bob Blackman MP, chairman of the APPG on Smoking and Health, also welcomed the announcement and reiterated that it was one of the keys asks originally contained in the last Tobacco Control Plan in 2017.
Mr Blackman will be leading a backbench debate on the APPG’s recommendations for the upcoming Tobacco Control Plan on 16 November in Westminster Hall.
Source: Hansard, 1 November 2021
On to more vape news:
Free Vapes On the Isle Of Wight!
The UK continues to go big on giving smokers free vapes with the Isle Of Wight the next to join the stop smoking giveaways.
Ape Vapes based in Newport and Shanklin has teamed up with Healthy Lifestyles Isle of Wight in a bid to get more smokers to make the switch.
The scheme will offer:
- A free vape kit
- Continued support throughout the smoke-free journey
- Expert advice on how to be successful with stopping smoking
- Vouchers for E-Liquid
And the staff in the vape shops really know what they’re doing as all of them are National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT) certified Stop Smoking Practitioners.
BTW, I’ve actually taken that online e-cigarette training course and recommend all vape shop staff take it too – check the link below:
and finally…Barging Into Parliament To Back Vaping!
The We Vape team are at it again and this time it’s the pro vaping canal barge and not the battle bus!
As you can see from the tweet, this is WeVape director Mark Oates‘ real world home…very cool!
Next time you see him I hope you shout ‘ahoy vaping sailor‘…even though he’s a former soldier lol.
More vape news on Sunday!