28 April 2016

RCGP Response to RCP Report on E-Cigarettes

Dr Tim Ballard, Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to the Royal College of Physicians’ report Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction released today.

He said: “Smoking and smoking related conditions lead to a number of serious long-term conditions and premature death for many patients, and cost the health service a huge amount of money so whatever can be done to help people stop smoking should be encouraged.

“The College recognises e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to cigarettes and we welcome today’s comprehensive report, which should increase the confidence of GPs and our teams as we help our patients to quit smoking in order to improve their long term health.

“However, moving forward we would be looking for clear evidence that making e-cigarettes available on prescription as part of a wider smoking cessation scheme is a wise use of both scant NHS funds and GP practice resources, before the College could get behind it.

“It is not just the cost of the product that needs taking into account, but the time and resources that are involved in assessing patients, and monitoring their progress over a prolonged period of time. 

“We reiterate our calls for NICE to take a leading role in establishing whether making e-cigarettes available on prescription is the best way forward.”

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 50,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.