The UK is making a dramatic move in the coming year as doctors will begin prescribing e-cigs as a smoking cessation device. The NHS (National Health Service) is on board even though government officials are trying to keep the new program quiet for the time being. It seems that the UK Health Minister Jane Ellison is a bit fearful that the British public will begin rushing doctor’s offices in an attempt to be the first on the list to obtain the new devices.
For smokers of tobacco cigarettes who want to quit, doctors will begin handing out e-cigs at an NHS cost of about £20 per kit and £10 a week per patient. But the packages are not yet in the hands of the NHS, which is likely why Ms. Ellison is trying to keep a lid on the new information until such time that the government is ready to handle the onslaught of interested citizens. Come January 1, 2016, the program should be in place.
According to a recent report in London’s Daily Mail, Ellison and her political colleagues believe that e-cigs and vaping are the key to getting people off smoking and on to a healthier lifestyle. If the program works as expected, Ellison hopes to save the UK millions of pounds per year in excessive healthcare costs.
“We didn't want to make a song and dance about it because GPs would be overrun by people demanding (the program) …but this is something we've been pushing for.” Ellison went on to state that the NHS believes that vaping and e-cigs are “significantly less harmful than smoking” while adding that medicinal license applications were “encouraged.”
Meanwhile, there is still a battle looming in America between pro-vapers and anti-vaping protagonists over the validity of the scientific research that supports Ellison’s claims. According to the PHE (Public Health of England), at least 76,000 lives per year can be saved by switching to vaping devices and e-cigs. In fact, some Northeastern UK physicians taking part in a government-sponsored pilot program have been secretly recommending that their patients make the transition throughout the entirety of 2015.
Now that the UK government official supports the NHS prescription program, all British doctors will be able to legally recommend e-cigs, vape pens, and box mods to their patients who smoke. As long as the devices are properly licensed as other smoking cessation alternatives like nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches, Brits will be able to receive vaping technology through their free healthcare system. Free healthcare AND free vaping equipment and e-juice? America, take note!
(Courtesy of Global Post)