The first ever federally sanctioned vaporizer spent over two years in limbo but is now canceled
The eVoke vaporizer project by British American Tobacco has been terminated. The vape was set up to be a licensed medical device in the UK, but technological demands and “scaling issues” all caused BAT to pull the plug. BAT has come out saying that the device is “unlikely to see the light of day.
While it is discouraging to see this particular project shelved it does not mean the end of vaporizers as medically sanctioned smoking cessation tools. To the contrary, it opens the way for an independent vaping company to seek the designation. No matter who gets the honor of being the first, being legally recognized as smoking cessation devices will be a big step forward for the public perception of vaping. It will also lead to more devices earning a medical designation.
British American Tobacco has cited “technological progress” as the driving force behind their decision. The eVoke was designed as a high quality early cig-a-like vaporizer. Regulations and formal protocols prevented the product from being introduced to the market since it received the designation over two years ago. The technology behind the eVoke, at this point, is basically the same as found in low-end options. The company found themselves in a place where they needed to completely redesign the product, which would mean going through all the red tape all over again to get it approved as a medical tool.
BAT was ultimately unable to handle the demands, and not able to prove their product as consistent in it’s smoking cessation abilities. Some critics say they were never able to receive full approval. But it is still good news to the vaping industry that this process has left room for other devices to be approved. With any luck, those vaporizers won’t be from tobacco companies. Regardless, once the door is opened and standards set then, other vaporizers will have an easier time being approved as a medical tool.
Putting aside eVoke’s failure, this step brings vaping another step toward being a legitimized smoking cessation tool. Professor Linda Bauld, a world-renowned tobacco control expert, believes BAT’s lack of passion for the project is what ultimately did them in. She was disappointed by their lack of follow through when faced with the amount asked of them, the same as is asked of pharmaceutical companies every day. Bauld believes the key to getting through such a massive amount of work successfully is passion.
Thanks to these turn of events, independent vaping companies have the chance to step up and use their passion to obtain a medical designation. They will need to prove the consistency of their product and the amount of nicotine per pull, while also demonstrating the health benefits of the product. Many vaping companies are well equipped to do this, so giving the National Health Service what they require should be much easier.
Phillip Morris, BAT, and other large tobacco companies have shown that even they see the writing on the wall for traditional tobacco products. PMI on multiple occasions has said they envision a future without combustible cigarettes at all. They’re still angling to stay alive as a business, however, and so it is vital for independent vaping companies doesn’t let them move into the vaping industry without a fight.
In their quest to stay viable these companies have, what appear to be, near endless resources. Thanks to BAT’s failure, with the eVoke, the tides have a chance to turn toward the comparatively smaller vaping companies. Big Tobacco should not have a prominent place in the vaping industry; they’ve already proven that they don’t deserve our trust or business.
Should we be aiming for more devices to gain medical status? Is it a bad thing if a Big Tobacco company does it first? What do you think the best way to keep them out the vaping industry is? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.