Queen Mary, University of London specialist, Professor Peter Hajek, advised that probable benefits of the device on public health are likely to be jeopardized if electronic cigarette regulations as medical devices would be pushed through. Professor Hajek is also directing the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit in Barts.
From MHRA Announcement Last June
Last June, the MHRA or Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK announced that it will soon classify the products as medical products in hope of making electronic cigarette regulations tighter.
The well-known and respected specialist said that the risks hypothesized about the devices appear unlikely considering the facts that are now known about electronic cigarettes. The products these devices are replacing are known to be seriously threatening. He added that in case new risks emerged, such is when proper and tighter regulations must be enforced.
Electronic cigarettes are devices that were developed to deliver nicotine to the user without the other numerous harmful chemical from tobacco. With the announced electronic cigarette regulations by MHRA, companies would be required to invest more money so production will automatically increase in expenses too. Regulating them as medical devices will also impede any innovation in the future. All these considered, the professor also commented that the tobacco industry would then be placed in a winning situation.
If regulated as medical devices, the products would require prescription from a health care provider before anyone can purchase them. Add that fact to the higher costs and users will only tend to return to their tobacco smoking habits because tobacco cigarettes would then be cheaper and more easily accessible.
Compulsory regulation as medicines is not necessary to protect public health. It can, in fact, cause more harm to the public because electronic cigarettes will become harder to access. Such plans of electronic cigarette regulations are excessive. It will not protect the public’s health, but the tobacco cigarette’s market monopoly. Instead of promoting better health and longer lives, these regulations will only further cause the illness and death of million smokers, who could have been saved through electronic cigarettes.
He added that for the first time in tobacco control movement’s history, a realistic opportunity is emerging to solve the problem caused by tobacco. Such a possibility can happen without or even with the least expenditure and involvement from the government. He said that medicine regulators should postpone their criticisms.
In A Related News
Another news entry seems to uphold the advice of Professor Hajek: the latest study done by the Cancer Center University of Hawaii. In this survey study, it was found that 13% of smokers are using electronic cigarettes.
Furthermore, it is also established by the results that these smoking quitters are younger, yet they are more motivated to quit the bad habit. Compared to those who are using other smoke cessation aids, electronic cigarette users are able to work on their goals by themselves.
Dr. Pallav Pokhrel from the UH Cancer Center said that they were surprised with what they have found because they were not really expecting that these people are that serious in quitting through the help of electronic cigarettes.
This means that electronic cigarettes truly have the potential to save people’s lives because these people are more inspired to get away from tobacco. If electronic cigarette regulations will be pushed, such potentials will only be stopped from manifesting and making a positive change on public health.