The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency wants to regulate electronic cigarettes as if they were medicines. They have announced that this proposal will make electronic cigarettes more effective at helping people quit smoking. What they don’t seem to have noticed is that they are already far more effective than the nicotine replacement therapies that cost the NHS millions of pounds every year.

Right now electronic cigarettes are developing fast. New models appear every month, and there are hundreds of different flavours available. People can experiment with different batteries and atomisers, adjust the power they use, customise their devices and mix their own liquid from easily available, safe ingredients.  If the MHRA proposal becomes law, in 2016 all this will stop; there will just be a handful of boring choices, using prefilled cartridges that are only available in tobacco flavour. To develop a new model will need a medical license that costs up to £2.5 million and takes three or four years to be granted. The small companies who make most of the equipment and liquids will go out of business. MHRA know this – they’ve released documents saying so – and they don’t care. The market will be taken over by the tobacco companies that anti-nicotine activists claim to hate.

If this law is passed many of the 1.3 million people who currently use electronic cigarettes – perhaps most of them – will go back to smoking.

Half of them will die.

We asked people to tell us something about how they switched from smoking to using electronic cigarettes. We hope you’ll see how passionately they feel about something new and exciting, that is saving them money and will probably save their lives, being taken away for stupid reasons.

This post was written by

I’m a freelance writer and former soldier, originally from Glasgow but now living in Germany. E-cigarettes let me quit smoking after more than 20 years. I’m not going to sit back and let self-important jobsworths regulate them out of existence just because they’re too difficult to understand.

Comments are closed.