The survey of 525 doctors by Doctors.net.uk – a medical professional forum – found that the most popular option was to see e-cigarettes only available from pharmacies. Two out of five or 40% of those surveyed preferred this method of restriction.
A further 13% believed that the devices should be available only on a prescription basis while 16% of the doctors surveyed did not think they should be sold at all in the UK.
Only 31% of the surveyed doctors supported the current regulation of e-cigarettes and said that they should continue to be freely available.
WalesOnline quoted Dr James Quekett, a practising GP and director of educational services for Doctors.net.uk as saying: “I think e-cigarettes need to be regulated like a medicine and then be available as a pharmacy-only product. This would bring them into line with nicotine replacement products.”
The survey follows on from a significantly more in-depth EU-wide study published last month in Tobacco Control. The study of e-cigarette use across Europe found that there had been a significant rise in the number of people who had tried an e-cigarette. It estimated that there were now 29 million European that had tried the products – although that did not necessarily mean they were regular users.
What this means: It is interesting that UK doctors are sceptical of the use of e-cigarettes. But there is a significant amount of disagreement amongst doctors about the best way to proceed with e-cigarettes. If this was an election, none of the candidates would have received enough votes and we’d be headed for a run-off or some form of coalition.
Although medical bodies have not supported e-cigarettes as harm reduction products, most have asked for more evidence before reaching a conclusion on regulation. It seems that is still what most are doing in the UK.
– Freddie Dawson ECigIntelligence staff