The National Health Service (NHS) has just announced that it will be offering e-cigarettes by prescription as a method to help cigarette smokers quit the habit.

While it’s likely that the move will cause debate for vaping critics, it’s certainly a win for those who have long been advocating for the potential benefits of vaping as a smoking cessation tool.

It is believed that the prescriptions will cost the NHS approximately £20 per kit and a further £10 for patients’ cartridges. If that sounds high considering the numbers of people who are likely to try this method for quitting, remember that smoking already costs England somewhere in the vicinity of £13.9 billion every year, according to research from quitting smoking company ASH. 

These new measures from the NHS will add to the existing funded smoking cessation tools such as nicotine patches.

Operating out of London, British American Tobacco (BAT) is one of the world’s biggest cigarette companies and is the name behind major brands such as Kent, Pall Mall, and Lucky Strike. Interestingly, it is BAT that has been awarded the contract to supply the NHS with e-cigarettes. Going by the name of E-voke, the vape product has been given a license by the Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is Britain’s medicine’s regulator. This means that E-voke can be used medicinally.

The move has come after ongoing studies and evidence have proven the worth of e-cigarettes both as smoking cessation tools and vastly less damaging products than combustible cigarettes.

Even though a major cigarette company will likely benefit from the NHS announcement, it still seems to be a big step forward for vaping advocates and a huge bonus for Brits looking to quit smoking and switch to an e cigarette.

Another study found that people with alcohol addiction could benefit from quitting smoking too and that quitting actually increased the chances of those with alchol dependancy staying sober.