CN Creative

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CN Creative was an independent British manufacturer and supplier of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products and an e-cigarettes (also known as electronic nicotine delivery system, or ENDS), which was acquired by British American Tobacco (BAT) in December 2012 for an estimated GB£30-50million.12

The company developed BAT’s Vype e-cigarette which was launched in the United Kingdom (UK) in July 2013 (see also British American Tobacco). It stopped producing its nicotine replacing products, and following the Vype launch, was subsumed into BAT’s Nicoventures.


CN Creative was set up by David Newns and Chris Lord in 2008, with the goal “to deliver revolutionary products and services that make a positive difference to the lives of smokers.”3

The company offered a Quit Direct program and was an “NHS accredited supplier of comprehensive Stop Smoking Services”. However, the NHS accreditation was terminated after CN Creative was acquired by BAT (more detail below).

Newns was CN Creative’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Lord the company’s Chief Science Officer (CSO). They left CN Creative in 2013 to set up e-cigarette company Nerudia, which was acquired by Imperial Tobacco’s Fontem Ventures in 2017. In October 2019 Newns and Lords were both Group Innovation Directors at Imperial Brands.45

CN Creative Products: Pre-BAT


Prior to its acquisition by BAT, CN Creative had developed an e-cigarette called Intellicig which it claimed it sold in 27 countries.6

It was marketed as “the most pharmaceutically-compliant product of its kind on the market, with an ECOpure nicotine solution that contains only three ingredients, all of which have been approved for pharmaceutical use.”7

It appears that BAT’s Vype was based closely on Intellicig. The Vype website referred to research on “CN Creative’s original Intellicig product” when answering questions about the content of its Vype.8

Quit Direct: NHS Accreditation Revoked

CN Creative advertised itself as a “NHS National Health Service accredited provider of comprehensive Stop Smoking Services” through its division ‘Quit Direct’.9

As the NHS is precluded from holding contracts with tobacco companies, NHS accreditation for Quit Direct was terminated after CN Creative was taken over by BAT.10 The Quit Direct website was taken down, and the Twitter account @QuitDirect was last active on 25 September 2012.


Actistix was introduced in May 2012 as part of the Quit Direct program. It is a nicotine-free e-cigarette “designed to help provide an alternative to smoking tobacco products by replicating the hand-to-mouth action associated with traditional cigarettes.” The product produced a vapour with a menthol taste, claiming to contain “none of the harmful ingredients found in traditional cigarettes”.11
The accompanying Facebook site was last active on November 2012. The product was discontinued.


When acquired by BAT, CN Creative was in the process of developing an electronic nicotine vaporiser called Nicadex which it intended to licence as a medical product through the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). In early 2012, CN Creative had raised £2 million with the help of Advent Life Sciences to finish its development.12

In 2013 CN Creative’s website stated that Nicadex was “…now in final prototype stage, with clinical studies and marketing authorization expected to be completed in 2013”13

Nothing has been made public about the product since, and it’s therefore reasonable to assume that the product has been discontinued.

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  1. A. Ralph, Tobacco Giant buys electronic cigarette maker. The Times, 20 December 2012, accessed June 2013
  2. British American Tobacco, British American Tobacco buys UK based e-cigarette technology company, BAT Press Release, 19 December 2012, accessed June 2019
  3. CN Creative, About our company, archived 3 January 2013, accessed October 2019
  4. Imperial Brands, David Newns, 2019, accessed October 2019
  5. C. Lord, LinkedIn Profile,, undated, accessed October 2019
  6. CN Creative, Our Brands, archived 4 January 2013, accessed October 2019
  7. CN Creative to unveil the future of smoking cessation at Pharmacy Show,, September 2012, archived 16 May 2013, accessed October 2019
  8. Go Vype, Vype Q & A, 31 July 2013, archived 4 August 2013, accessed October 2019
  9. CN Creative, the Quit Direct, archived 19 April 2012, accessed October 2019
  10. Confirmed by NHS commissioners, email exchange 13 June and 3 October 2013
  11. SourceWire news, Actistix: Nicotine Free Innovation Offered by Quit Direct, 13 July 2012, accessed October 2019
  12. CN Creative, CN Creative Raises Series A Funding to Develop First Medically Approved Electronic Inhaler Nicotine Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation, press release, 25 January 2012, archived 23 March 2013, accessed October 2019
  13. CN Creative Our brands, archived 19 July 2013, accessed October 2019