Questions in Parliament

Posted 7th January 2022 by Dave Cross
Further questions have been debated in Parliament about electronic cigarettes, alternative nicotine products, combatting smoking and tobacco harm reduction. Thangam Debbonaire asked about online nicotine product sales, Rachel Maskell was concerned about smoking cessation interventions, while Martyn Day seems to believe alternative nicotine products are linked to serious health outcomes.

Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care how the Government were preventing online sales of nicotine containing products to under-18s.

Maggie Throup, in her capacity as Public Health Minister, told Debbonaire: “The Children and Young Persons (Sale of Tobacco etc.) Order 2007 and The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 ensure that tobacco and nicotine inhaling products can only be purchased by those who are aged 18 years old and over.

This applies to both in person and online sales. The Department will consider whether the regulatory framework needs to be strengthened to protect young people from accessing products containing nicotine online.”

York’s Rachel Maskell wanted to know what steps the Department is taking to have NHS health checks reinstated. She is concerned that without them health interventions such smoking cessation are not being delivered having been closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maggie Throup claimed the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities was supporting local authorities to restart activity on the NHS Health Check programme.

Dispergo

She added: “The NHS Health Check is an important gateway to helping people access interventions such as support to stop smoking. These services have continued to operate during the pandemic response as individuals are able to refer themselves directly.”

Martyn Day, MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if the Department will be making an assessment of the risks posed by vaping and other reduced harm alternative nicotine products.

Maggie Throup responded: “Although they are not risk free, we do promote the role that e-cigarettes can play in smoking cessation, whilst managing the risks to non-smokers and young people.

“Oral tobacco, including snus, is banned in the United Kingdom under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. There is evidence that oral tobacco products can contain carcinogenic substances which increases the risk of adverse health effects. Whilst the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus are far lower than smoking, it remains the Government's policy to help people to quit all forms of tobacco use.”

Finally, Martyn Day asked what the Government believed the serious adverse health outcomes caused by snus to be.

Innokin

Maggie Throup repeated: “Oral tobacco, including snus, is banned in the United Kingdom under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. There is evidence that oral tobacco products can contain carcinogenic substances which increases the risk of adverse health effects. This includes an increased risk of oesophageal and pancreatic cancer, high blood pressure, increased mortality in the aftermath of a heart attack or stroke and type 2 diabetes. While the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus are far lower than smoking, it remains the Government's policy to help people to quit all forms of tobacco use.”


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, motorbikes, and dog walker
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