You can get e-cigs on the NHS

7 December 2015

e-cigarette In the New Year, you'll be able to get e-cigarettes on the NHS. Now, if you haven't heard about this, don't worry, as it looks like the government have been rather quiet about it, for fear of everyone swamping GPs with requests for such things.

A Whitehall source told the People: "We didn't want to make a song and dance about it because GPs would be overrun by people demanding it. But this is something we've been pushing for."

Public health minister Jane Ellison was asked by Labour MP Steve McCabe about it, and she said: "The Government believes vaping is ­significantly less harmful than smoking. We encourage ­medicinal license applications."

A bit vague, but there you go. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency ­licensed British American Tobacco’s e-Voke last month, which means doctors will be able to give them out on prescription to those who want to quit smoking.

It'll cost the NHS £20 per kit, and around £10 a week for each patient’s cartridges. In the long term, that'll be significantly cheaper than the cost of patients with smoking-related illnesses... unless of course vapes cause a bunch of problems that no-one's found yet.

Either way, if you're thinking about knocking the tabs on the head in 2016, then this is encouraging news.

TOPICS:   Health   Technology


  • Mr C.
    It's not going to be cheaper to the NHS in the more general sense. If someone is not buying cigarettes then the government is receiving less tax, and it's well established that the tax received from cigarettes quite significantly outweighs the cost of treatment so in the long run it's not economically a good thing, though it probably is from a public health perspective.
  • Dave
    If you want to quit, surely just stop buying fags and use the money you save to buy e-cigs. Why should the NHS pay? Or am I missing something?
  • George
    Soooo if I stop drinking Holsten at 5% ABV, will the NHS to buy me Carling at 3.8% ABV because it's better for me?
  • Alexis
    "We didn’t want to make a song and dance about it because GPs would be overrun by people demanding it. But this is something we’ve been lobbied for by the ecig companies for ages" Fixed your quote for you Mr Tory spokesman
  • Nick O.
    There must be some law of diminishing returns here, depending upon how long the potential cancer victims have been smoking (a lot of them will get smoking- related illnesses anyway) The only way the NHS could cut smoking related illnesses for certain would be to get people on e-cigs before they start smoking cancer sticks. (I have not been paid by any e-cig company for this comment)

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