06/12/2013 01:39 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 EDT

News Summary: UK to regulate all nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, as medicines

OVERSIGHT: Britain will start regulating electronic cigarettes and other products containing nicotine as medicines. Cigarettes are exempt from the regulation.

QUALITY CONTROL: E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that turn nicotine into a vapour inhaled by the user. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said it would treat them as medicines so that users have confidence they are safe. Experts say smokers are at risk from the toxins and tar in cigarettes, not the nicotine.

NO INTERIM BAN: E-cigarettes and other nicotine products will be licensed in the U.K. and sold as over-the-counter medicines starting in 2016. Until, the U.K. regulator says e-cigarettes aren't recommended for use but won't be banned entirely.