UK moves towards safe and effective electronic cigarettes and other nicotine-containing products

Date: 12 Jun 2013

News from Smokefree South West regarding today's announcement from the MHRA:

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued guidance on the regulation of nicotine-containing products, including electronic cigarettes. 

Smokefree South West welcomes the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announcement which confirms that e-cigarettes and other nicotine containing products will be subject to a medicines licensing regulatory framework to ensure product safety and effectiveness while remaining freely available as an over the counter medicine.

However it is disappointing to see that regulation is not likely to come into place before 2016. This also means that restrictions on the promotion of e-cigarettes to children or non-smokers won't come into force until a licensing regime is in place which is a concern for Smokefree South West given our ambition to make smoking history for children. The current marketing of e-cigarettes appears to be designed to appeal to young people and normalise smoking and therefore marketing regulation is urgently needed.

The announcement says:

“All nicotine-containing products (NCPs), such as electronic cigarettes, are to be regulated as medicines in a move to make these products safer and more effective to reduce the harms of smoking.

“The UK Government has decided that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will regulate all NCPs as medicines so that people using these products have the confidence that they are safe, are of the right quality and work.”