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UK Approves Nicotine Inhaler Device

Update Date: Sep 12, 2014 01:02 PM EDT

A nicotine inhaler device, which looks very similar to an e-cigarette, was recently approved in the United Kingdom. The non-electric inhaler, Voke, created by Nicoventures, which is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, can soon be prescribed as a smoking cessation aid.

Voke is the first product that is manufactured by a tobacco company to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). Although there are similar nicotine products on the market, such as nicotine inhalers, patches, sprays and gums, Voke is the first one that closely resembles an e-cigarette in terms of its form. Due to this resemblance, the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) believes that this license could pave the way for e-cigarettes.

Despite the physical similarities, Voke is not electronically powered and does not require any batteries. The product also will not produce any ash or smoke when used. It only requires the users to inhale the nicotine. The product will be available exclusively for smokers who are looking to quit. Unlike e-cigarettes, which target young adults, Voke can only be marketed to smokers.

"This new alternative to smoking will allow smokers to choose a product which meets the high standards of medicines regulation and could be provided on prescription to help them stop smoking," Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity Ash, said according to BBC News.

Kevin Bridgman, the chief medical officer at Nicoventures, added according to Reuters, "The fact that it has been licensed by the medicines regulator provides the assurances around quality and safety that many smokers are seeking. I'm fairly confident that most e-cigarettes contain fewer toxins than conventional cigarettes, but the trouble is that without standards and without someone overseeing things then consumers can't be sure."

Voke is expected to enter the market within the next few months.

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