David Jones asked, “the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to regulate non-nicotine products intended for vaping which are not currently covered by the provisions of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016?”
His reply was provided by Jo Churchill, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary. She told him: “Non-nicotine vaping products are regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR) 2005. The GPSR requires all products to be safe in their normal, or reasonably foreseeable, usage. The Department is also undertaking a post implementation review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and we will publish a response later this year.”
The three people left in the UK who still read newspapers might have seen the recent article where Swedish Match (the manufacturer of products in direct competition with vaping) conducted research that surprisingly found “6 in 10” people want vaping banned from pub beer gardens.
It wasn’t revealed if all the 2,000 adults polled worked for or were related to employees at Swedish Match, but the tobacco pouch manufacturer was pretty sure it was fair to say vapers were “inconsiderate” and “thoughtless” to vape outdoors.
Labour’s Mark Hendrick picked up Swedish Match’s baton, asking: “What assessment has [the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care] made of the potential merits of banning vaping in (a) public and (b) indoor spaces?”
Hendrick also pressed his desire to see vaping classified “under the same rules and regulations as smoking.”
Jo Churchill said: “The ban on smoking in enclosed public places is based on strong evidence of harm from exposure to second-hand smoke, and the health benefits of preventing that exposure. No evidence of comparable harm from exposure or benefit from protection exists in relation to exposure to electronic cigarette aerosol in public or indoor spaces.
“The Department is currently carrying out a consultation to review the effectiveness of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, which regulates tobacco and e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom. We are analysing the feedback to the consultation and will publish a response in due course.”
Then, across the building to where people wear 15th Century robes to accentuate how they have their finger on the pulse of the 21st Century, Lord Faulkner of Worcester tabled a regret Motion to express regret that the Draft Amendment to the Business and Planning Act was not revised to take account of the “evidence of the benefits of 100% smokefree pavement licences”.
He claims banning smoking and vaping from outdoor areas has “received strong public support”. Maybe he spoke to the same 2000 people that Swedish Match chatted to?
Attitudes like Faulkner’s and Hendrick’s will only be emboldened by a harsher Tobacco Products Directive coming into effect in Europe.