An article that recently appeared in the Telegraph was theoretically about the state of the e-cigarette industry. Instead, it seemed to be more or less a piece about the MHRA and its medicalization plans. Despite the EU rejecting such plans recently, the UK’s medical administration seems to putting on that British stiff upper lip and staying the course thing. It appears the agency has no problems acting unilaterally.
However, there is a problem with quality control – which is why the MHRA wants to see e-cigarettes regulated as medicine. This should come into effect in 2016, although without a Europe-wide initiative the UK may act unilaterally. “Our tests show that different products vary in how much nicotine they deliver” says Jeremy Mean. “So some products may not help people regulate their nicotine cravings.”
There are also fears that e‑cigarettes could “renormalise” smoking and promote nicotine addiction. “This is precisely why they need regulating as medicines, so that they are not sold to under-18s or targeted at non-smokers,” says Mean. He advises that for now, would-be quitters should use conventional NRT products – patches, gums and sprays – rather than e‑cigarettes.
Why is it when officials recommend patches and gum, it always sounds like a commercial of some sort? As for the UK, it seems this is a loose end that will take a little more work from UK consumers to tie up this loose end.