Britain's drug regulators have given the go-ahead for an electronic-cigarette device to be prescribed for patients trying to give up smoking.
The announcement comes as some New Zealand tobacco researchers urge the Government to lift restrictions on selling e-cigarettes containing nicotine here.
Many tobacco companies were entering the e-cigarette market and the 'e-Voke', made by British American Tobacco, was the first such product to be given a drug licence in the UK.
Tobacco researcher and public health doctor, Auckland University associate professor Chris Bullen, said the standards for the e-cigarette to become a pharmaceutical product were very high.
However Professor Bullen said it was ironic that the tobacco companies did not have to be held to the same standards for their far more harmful tobacco products.