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June 12, 2013

UK to start regulating e-cigarettes as medicines

The Associated Press

LONDON — Britain will start regulating electronic cigarettes and other products containing nicotine as medicines, according to the country's top regulator.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency said it would treat e-cigarettes as medicines "so that people using these products have the confidence they are safe, are of the right quality and work." E-cigarettes are battery-operated products that turn nicotine into a vapor that is inhaled by the user.

Britain's chief medical officer Sally Davies said it was best for smokers to quit but it was appropriate e-cigarettes should be properly regulated. Cigarettes are exempt from the regulation.

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration regulates e-cigarettes used for therapeutic purposes and says it plans to assert regulatory authority of the products in the near future.