British American Tobacco (BAT) has become the first tobacco manufacturer to launch an e-cigarette in the UK.

The e-cigarette is branded Vype and will be available for sale on-line with plans to move into mainstream retail outlets from September 2013.

Vype uses a nicotine e-liquid that is made in the UK to current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) standards and contains only pharmaceutical grade nicotine.

The e-cigarette is currently available in a disposable format, with plans to supplement the product range with a rechargeable version in the near future.

BAT said the development of inhaled nicotine products, which includes e-cigarettes, is a natural extension of British American Tobacco’s approach to tobacco harm reduction which has been evolving over a number of years.

It added: “E-cigarettes are an important part of the UK Government’s approach to tobacco harm reduction and we believe that it is our role to provide smokers/consumers with products which they will find acceptable and want to use.”