Intended for healthcare professionals


E-cigarettes are to be regulated as medicines from 2016

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 14 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3859
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Electronic cigarettes and other electronic products containing nicotine are to be regulated as medicines in the United Kingdom from 2016, to ensure their quality and safety. Their use has grown dramatically in the UK since bans on smoking in enclosed public places came into being.

The move comes after an investigation into the products by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This investigation included a public consultation; a review of existing studies and the MHRA’s own commissioned research into the quality, safety, marketing, and use of the products; and an impact analysis on the consequences of regulation.1

The investigation confirmed that there were concerns about the safety and quality of e-cigarettes: levels of nicotine varied from what was listed on the label and from batch to batch, meaning that users don’t receive a consistent delivery of nicotine to deal with cravings; and they were often poorly manufactured, containing contaminants and with leaks of nicotine from …

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