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The market has been slow to pick up on the news with the big vaping companies yet to react
Thursday 09 Dec 2021 Author: Ian Conway

The UK could soon be the first country in the world to licence e-cigarettes or vapes as a medicinal product available on prescription in an effort to help people stop smoking.

The news from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority sent shares in medical cannabis firm Kanabo (KNB) soaring more than 6%, although the rest of the sector barely flickered and the large tobacco companies, who have invested billions in new products including vaping, were also unmoved.

To get a licence, products would need to meet the MHRA’s standards of safety, quality and efficacy for medicinal products, following which doctors could decide on a case-by-case basis whether prescribing an e-cigarette to NHS patients would help them to quit smoking.

June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, says: ‘The evidence is clear that e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking tobacco and that nicotine-containing e-cigarettes can help people quit smoking for good. The updated guidance on licensing requirements is a strong first step towards availability of safe and effective licensed e-cigarette products.’

If approved, the news would be negative for UK sales of other products designed to help smokers stop such as NiQuitin, manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

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