New e-cigarette alternative launched on prescription

Voke, a new nicotine inhaler, is available to prescribe for patients who want to quit smoking.

Voke's mode of delivery is similar to that of an asthma inhaler. | Kind Consumer
Voke's mode of delivery is similar to that of an asthma inhaler. | Kind Consumer

The Voke inhaler mimics a traditional cigarette through both its packaging and administration but does not rely on heat or burning to disperse the nicotine into the body. 

It is indicated to aid smokers over 18 years wishing to quit or reduce prior to quitting, to assist smokers who are unwilling or unable to smoke, and as a safer alternative to smoking for smokers and those around them.

Voke differs from an e-cigarette as it is a non-electronic device which delivers a low (450 microgram) dose of nicotine into the arterial system via the lungs, without vaporisation.

There are three steps to using the Voke inhaler: click, charge and inhale. The stick is removed from the box and pushed into a charging slot at the base of the box. This fills the stick with a low dose of nicotine which is then inhaled, over a similar time frame to a cigarette.

Pregnant women

Ideally smoking cessation in pregnant and lactating women should be achieved without nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). However, if the mother cannot quit without pharmacological support, NRT may be used as a safer alternative to smoking. 

GP Dr Roger Henderson said: 'As a doctor, I see many patients who are struggling to quit smoking through existing means, this is particularly pertinent for pregnant women. In some areas of the UK, over one fifth of mums-to-be are still smokers at the time of labour. Something desperately needs to change; having a range of medicines available for these smokers to use to help them in their journey to quit is vital, particularly for pregnant smokers.' 

A fully charged Voke stick provides six to eight puffs and a pack provides 20 charges. The maximum daily dose of Voke is two packs per day.

Voke can be prescribed as an aid to smoking cessation or reduction, or can be purchased directly by patients at a cost of £11.99 for a single pack, comparable to a pack of cigarettes. 

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