Britain to Treat E-Cigarettes as Medicine

by Christopher Freeburn | June 12, 2013 10:34 am

ecig[1]British regulators have determined that electronic cigarettes should be treated as non-prescription medicines[2].

On Wednesday, the U.K. Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that manufacturers would have to apply for a license to sell e-cigs. Despite the decision to regulate the smokeless cigarettes, which are positioned as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigs will continue to be sold through convenience shops in Britain. U.K. regulators say that the additional regulatory scrutiny in designed to increase the quality of existing e-cigs, Reuters notes.

E-cigs use a battery-powered device to heat a reserve of liquid menthol. Users then inhale vapors, instead of actual smoke. With public health officials increasing pressure on cigarette makers and millions of people trying to quit smoking, e-cigs are seen as a way for cigarette companies to retain smokers while addressing health concerns.

Most major cigarette makers, including British American Tobacco (BTI[3]), Reynolds American (RAI[4]) and Lorillard (LO[5]) already market them. This week, Altria Group (MO[6]), the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, announced that it would begin test marking e-cigs in Indiana this summer[7].

Britain joins a number of countries are choosing to regulate e-cigs, while others — including Norway and Brazil — have prohibited them altogether.

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  2. should be treated as non-prescription medicines:
  3. BTI:
  4. RAI:
  5. LO:
  6. MO:
  7. it would begin test marking e-cigs in Indiana this summer:

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