Politics & Campaigns


Vaping and tobacco harm reduction still manage to get discussed in parliament despite the never-ending chats about the B-word

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Liberal Democrat’s Lord Rennard, and the Conservative’s Bob Blackman and Andrew Rosindell all posed questions about vaping and tobacco harm reduction recently. Baroness Blackwood, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care in the Lords, and Seema Kennedy, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care in the Commons, provided the responses.

Lord Rennard wanted to know if the government had published the terms of reference and membership of the working group of experts set up to consider the recommendations from the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee’s report E-cigarettes.

This was something promised in Parliament in previous replies and time has passed since the report was published on 17 August 2018. The report impacts on the licensing of e-cigarettes as medicines. He wanted an answer to when and where they were published, whether the government will publish details of the working group’s first meeting, and when and where those details will be published.

Baroness Blackwood said: “The terms of reference and membership of the Commission on Human Medicines ad hoc working group of experts on e-cigarettes, set up to consider the recommendations from the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee’s E-cigarettes report, has not yet been published.”

“The first meeting of the working group is scheduled for 26 April 2019 and its terms of reference and membership will be published after the first meeting of the group on the CHM website.”

Harrow East’s Bob Blackman asked about amount of funding the Department of Health and Social Care spent on campaigns to promote the cessation of smoking last year. He also wanted to know what level of funding has been allocated to stop smoking campaigns this year.

Seema Kennedy told him: “Expenditure on smoking cessation advertising media by Public Health England in 2018-19 was £2.5 million. Figures are net (rounded to nearest £10,000) and exclude Value Added Tax.”

“Media spend includes expenditure for advertising on television, radio, national press, regional press, out of home (outdoor), cinema and digital. Recruitment advertising and media partnerships are not included.”

For some reason, the Department of Health and Social Care has not yet finalised its funding allocation for 2019/20.

Romford’s Andrew Rosindell asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, “whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of changing the maximum nicotine content of 20 mg/ml currently allowed in vaping products in the event that the UK leaves the EU Tobacco Products Directive.”

Some hope that one of the benefits of Brexit will be a shift in vaping legislation and that thing such as maximum bottle capacity and nicotine strength will be changed. Kennedy gave no indication that these hopes will be realised soon as she replied that no such assessment has currently been made.



Commission on Human Medicines – [link]

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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