(credit: Ecig Click)

For any smoker in the UK looking to kick the habit, your favourite medical professional may soon prescribe you an e-cigarette. According to Reuters, British American Tobacco’s e-Voke recently became the first vaping device to be given a drug licence in the UK, meaning it’s officially recognised by the state-funded National Health Service as a “quit smoking medicine.”
“We want to ensure licensed nicotine containing products—including e-cigarettes—which make medicinal claims are available and meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy to help reduce the harms from smoking,” the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement on Monday.

Reuters writes that the e-Voke licence was issued “towards the end of last year” and that British American Tobacco is “currently evaluating plans to commercialise” their product. It’s still unclear as to whether vaping really is safer than cigarettes, but a report issued by Public Health England last year suggests that it could be 95 percent less harmful than the real thing. More importantly, e-cigarettes could represent the first step in a smoker’s journey to quitting. Professor Ann McNeill, who helped author the report, described it as a potential “gamechanger” in public health.
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