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When I was a feisty junior doctor I considered not treating patients who were smokers. I reckoned I couldn’t help them anywhere near as much as they could help themselves by quitting. I didn’t of course, but I firmly believe that smoking is so damaging to health we should do anything to stop it.

Then along came e-cigarettes.

They’ve always been controversial and they are creating waves once again after an announcement by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency that it will look favourably on licence applications from e-cig firms so doctors can prescribe them to patients wanting to kick the habit.