In its review of 2021, the NNA began by accepting an invitation to speak to MPs and give evidence to the APPG for Vaping’s inquiry into the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Then the charity encouraged vapers to submit their opinions and experiences to the government’s Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) review. The NNA says this was a success as “over 5,000 responses were submitted, the majority of which will have been from consumers”.
The consumer group was exceptionally busy across the year taking part in discussions and attending conferences to promote the consumer’s voice. It also wrote to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care at the Department of Health and Social Care, “to provide a more comprehensive set of policy proposals for maximising the potential of safer nicotine products in order to match the government’s smoke-free 2030 and levelling up agendas”.
Come September, the NNA issued the second call to action for consumers of the year. It urged vapers to write to their MP before the WHO’s COP9 conference took place in order to pressure the government’s delegation to promote vaping and our harm reduction approach to the world.
All of the work took place thanks to the efforts of volunteers, the charity refuses to accept money from the industry or businesses and only received £300 in donations from individuals last year. The NNA says contributions towards its work could be boosted just by shopping with Amazon. It asks: “please go here to nominate the NNA as your charity and Amazon will then donate towards our activities with every purchase you make”.
Many believe that things are pretty settled in the UK now, but the NNA is swift to point out: “there are still significant potential threats which could emerge in the near future, so it is important that consumers stay alert and are prepared to make their voices heard.”
“The government only sees vaping as a short-term smoking cessation option, and wishes to see vapers quit vaping too once they no longer use cigarettes. This could inadvertently push vapers back to smoking,” writes Louise Ross.
“Treatment of safer nicotine products is governed by the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR) which are being updated following public consultation. While we do not expect much to change with TRPR, we must be on guard in case anything unfavourable is added at the behest of anti-vaping, prohibitionist opinion leaders in this space.”
Louise also points to the new Tobacco Control Plan, the EU Tobacco Excise Directive (“the UK may wish to adopt the same measures to harmonise trade with EU Member States”), “sinister anti-vaping noises coming from Europe”, and the perennial threat of the WHO, “which is deeply hostile to nicotine use globally and is not showing any signs of changing”.
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