England Set to Become First Country to Prescribe Vapes

Great news for vapers in England as it’s been revealed the NHS could soon start prescribing e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking. 

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently announced the move was being considered, while the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has already started inviting manufacturers to submit goods to be approved for prescription.

Once the first product gets the greenlight, England will officially become the first country on the planet to prescribe electronic cigarettes, proving once again that our government leads the way when it comes to policy on vaping. 

vape prescription - but why?

Why is the move being considered?

  • People who vape twice as likely to quit smoking
  • Vaping at least 95% safer than smoking
  • It’s thought that prescribing e-cigarettes will allow easier access for all
  • Government planning to make country smoke-free by 2030

Vapes contain neither the tar nor the carbon monoxide found in combustible tobacco smoke, and a number of studies over the last few years have demonstrated that vaping is much less damaging to our health than smoking. Moreover, further research has revealed e-cigarettes can be extremely effective in helping people quit smoking. 

A massive study carried out by Public Health England revealed that e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer than smoking, and a major clinical trial carried out in 2019 showed those who use vaping devices as a way to quit are twice as likely to succeed.

Since the science on vaping became clearer, both the British government and NHS have promoted the use of electronic cigarettes for those trying to quit smoking, and the recent announcement that vaping devices could soon become available by prescription is the latest effort to get the country smoke-free by 2030.

Access for all

Although vape devices are widely available in the UK, the government says there are many smokers who would like to switch to vaping but are either unable or unwilling to pay for e-cigarettes. It’s hoped that prescribing e-cigarettes on the NHS will provide access for everyone and ensure as many people as possible are able to quit smoking.

Speaking of the proposal, Sajid Javid said: “Opening the door to a licensed e-cigarette prescribed on the NHS has the potential to tackle the stark disparities in smoking rates across the country, helping people stop smoking wherever they live and whatever their background.”

vape prescriptions

Tackling doubts that still exist

In addition to the benefits of providing access for all, it’s also believed that prescribing vaping products will send out the right message and quell some of the scepticism around e-cigarettes that sadly still exists.

On the government’s official website, it says “thousands more could have quit except for unfounded safety fears about e-cigarettes. The evidence has been clear for some time that, while not risk-free, vaping is far less harmful than smoking”.

The hope is that if sceptics suddenly start seeing doctors handing out vaping products, they’ll be much more inclined to trust them.

This news can only be good for vapers or those looking to quit smoking in England. How long it’ll take to start offering them on the NHS remains to be seen, but it’s promising to see our ministers once again taking the initiative when it comes to vaping. At a time when other countries appear to be going backwards with bans and tighter regulation, the UK is once again blazing a trail by championing the important role e-cigarettes can play in helping people quit their life-threatening addiction.

If you’re looking for some more information or you think you’re ready to throw yourself into the wonderful world of vaping, head over to our Getting Started guide. There, you can read all about which devices suit beginners, and you can also get a good understanding of the different styles of vaping. If you’re interested in the different types of vape juices and which suit you, take a look at our E Liquid Guide.