Medicinal e-liquid, nicotine-free e-liquid, administered via an electronic vaping device, is next on the agenda for the think-tanks of the e-smoking industry. Vapeable medicines to treat all manner of ailments are set to revolutionise not only the e-smoking industry, but pharmacology as well.
What we are witnessing currently is a titanic battle between two real super powers: pharmacological corporations, that effect the decisions of governments and push laws through to suit their fields of involvement, and the titans of the tobacco trade whose power and influence far outreaches the mere cigarette between your fingers. The tobacco giants are involved in a complexly intertwined world of regulatory back-scratching with high-level government and adjusted tax levels supposedly in the public’s best interest. So will medicinal e-liquid be any different?
No medicine licence for tobacco firms
It’s not news that tobacco smoking has been targeted with tougher regulations, which have been pushed through by many governments globally in recent years. The banning of smoking in public places has had a social impact and in many cases created a shift in attitude towards tobacco puffers.The trend of harsher regulations suggests that tobacco companies will not be granted a medicinal licence to allow them to trade in e-smoking products.
The e-smoking industry at first was a major threat to tobacco companies, who had been operating successfully and untouched for years. The tobacco firms combated that initial threat by themselves investing heavily in the new electronic smoking industry. However, the move to medical-grade equipment, regulated under the strict and watchful eye of the government and medical officials, will be a change that tobacco companies will struggle to adapt to.
Although no information has been released about who will be able to produce pharmaceutical e-liquid post-2016 regulation, it has been announced that any company that wishes to produce and distribute e-liquid must operate under a medicinal licence. Companies that already hold a medicine licence need not worry. This could lead to tobacco companies trying to purchase smaller pharmaceutical companies in a bid to secure themselves a position in this newly heavily-regulated industry.
Actions like this have been seen in the past and are not uncommon nor illegal, it is highly likely that tobacco firms will take this measure to try and steal their share of the market. Whether the MHRA and other regulators allow this to happen, the issuing of medicine licences to tobacco firms will be one that’s contentious and no-doubt contested by the medical world and healthcare professionals. Only the future will tell and time will display the results.