Electronic cigarettes along with products containing nicotine will be classified and licensed as medication in Britainby 2016.
The battery-powered cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, deliver an experience similar to standard cigarettes by heating liquid nicotine in a disposable cartridge and producing a vapor that can be inhaled.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in Britain said in a statement Wednesday that it would regulate all such products to ensure that they are "safe, are of the right quality and work."
"Reducing the harms of smoking to smokers and those around them is a key government health priority," Jeremy Mean, the agency's group manager of vigilance and risk management of medicines, said in a statement. "Our research has shown that existing electronic cigarettes and other nicotine containing products on the market are not good enough to meet this public health priority."