Dubai: Doctors in England could be the first in the world to adopt medicinally licensed vaping devices in a bold move which would see e-cigarettes prescribed on the National Health Service (NHS) to help people stop smoking tobacco products. The progress is seen as even further support of the vape category in the UK, where vape devices are already legal to purchase over the counter and use nationwide.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is publishing updated guidance that paves the way for medicinally licensed e-cigarette products to be officially prescribed for tobacco smokers who wish to quit smoking.

Manufacturers can approach the MHRA to submit their products to go through the same regulatory approvals process as other medicines available on the health service.

This could mean England becomes the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes licensed as a medical product – and has been welcomed by the UK Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, who said of the matter:

“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.”

E-cigarettes contain nicotine and are not risk free, but nicotine is not the primary cause of smoking-related diseases. Expert reviews from the UK and US have been clear that the regulated e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking. Globally accredited, science-based studies inform us that in the next decade vaping could well replace smoking in some countries, and could see 1.6 million premature deaths avoided and 20.8 million quality adjusted years of life saved in the United States alone.[1]

A landmark UK-based, Public Health England (PHE)-endorsed enquiry into the issue meanwhile concluded that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to health than cigarettes and that there is no current evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes act as a route into smoking for minors or current non-smokers.[2]

Already well established in the global e-cigarette market as well as across UK, Europe, and the MENA region, RELX International, is increasingly the brand of choice for discerning adult vapers all over the world and sits at the very forefront of the e-cigarette revolution.

RELX International products are designed at a cutting-edge research and development centre with extremely stringent inspection and rigorous quality control processes. It truly understands the needs of its adult consumers and the products are designed to provide them with exceptional alternatives of the highest quality and the most satisfying user experience possible.

Furthermore, the brand’s ethical methods of operation and social responsibility efforts and initiatives truly sets it apart.

This principled stance is felt across all areas of the company, notably in the way in which the products are responsibly sold and conscientiously marketed. The brand is vehemently against recommending, marketing, or selling e-cigarettes to underage users, non-smokers and non-vapers and is entirely committed to making the idea of a world without cigarettes a tangible reality.

This approach is exemplified by their pioneering ‘Guardian Program’, a company-wide initiative dedicated to actively discouraging vaping amongst minors and educating company associates – such as stakeholders and commercial and business partners – on the importance of doing the same. This program falls under the recently announced RELX Pledge, which is centered around the protection of minors, consumers and economic livelihoods.

Robert Naouss, RELX International’s MENA External Affairs Director, welcomed the UK MHRA’s decision:

“The UK government deserves huge praise for taking this bold decision to look more closely at the use of vaping when it comes to smoking cessation and for taking an evidence-based, science-led approach rather than an anti-vaping stance that denies the potential of harm reduction.

This announcement by the UK Department for Health is just the latest in a long line of breakthroughs for those of us who for years have advocated vaping as the best and most effective method for people looking to switch away from cigarettes towards better alternatives.

What we can now hope for is that this is just the beginning – and other markets across the globe, particularly here in the MENA region, start to take stock of what other regions are implementing.”

About RELX International:

Founded in 2019, RELX International is a multinational electronic cigarette company that markets and sells RELX, Asia’s leading e-cigarette brand. RELX branded products are designed at a cutting-edge research and development center, and produced at one of the world’s largest e-cigarette factories. RELX’s mission is to make RELX a trusted brand for adult smokers through state-of-the-art products, industry-leading technologies and scientific advances in collaboration with talented and committed people around the globe. The company has attracted global talents from Uber, Proctor and Gamble, Apple, Beats, and L’Oréal.