The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working to support the government's vision of a smoke-free generation by encouraging the development of safe and effective e-cigarettes that can be licensed as medicinal products. To achieve this goal, the MHRA has published updated guidance on the steps required to license e-cigarettes as medicinal products.
According to the guidance, e-cigarettes seeking licensure as medicinal products must meet the standards of quality, safety, and efficacy expected of all medicinal products. If successful, this could potentially allow for the prescription of safe and effective e-cigarettes to individuals seeking to quit or reduce their tobacco smoking.
The MHRA's efforts to support the licensing of e-cigarettes as medicinal products are in line with the Department of Health and Social Care's 2017 Tobacco Control Plan, which states that the evidence clearly shows that e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. E-cigarettes that contain nicotine have been shown to be effective at helping people quit smoking and are similar in effectiveness to other cessation options. The MHRA is committed to improving public access to safe and effective licensed products.