Politics & Campaigns

Vaping News from Parliament

While everyone was talking about parties, the political parties have found time to discuss vaping and other tobacco harm reduction issues

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While everyone was talking about parties, the political parties have found time to discuss vaping and other tobacco harm reduction issues. Alexander Stafford asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about flavours, the government’s tobacco control plan has been delayed again, and Mark Pawsey expressed his opinion that, when it does finally make its way to the House, the tobacco control plan should embrace vaping.

Rother Valley’s MP Alexander Stafford asked is the Secretary of State was going to investigate breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products, if the products would be removed and what penalties companies found to be in breach of regulations will face.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup told him: “King's College London and Roswell Park were jointly appointed to undertake testing of a range of products to support the investigation into potential breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products. Unfortunately, issues have arisen with the export of cigarettes to Roswell Park. The Department is working, including with the Food and Drug Administration, to resolve the issues and we hope to start testing in early 2022.”

Many have been warning Boris Johnson’s administration that it would miss its 2030 “smoke-free” target unless action was taken but the warnings have fallen on deaf ears. The news got even worse for those hoping vaping would receive an additional push as the government confirmed a further delay to the tobacco control plan – which was originally set for distribution last summer.

Anyone hoping for a new target date will be disappointed as Maggie Throup limited herself to promising it would be delivered “soon”. The government said the delays were due to a turnover of ministers within the Department of Health – we are now on our third Secretary of State since work began on the plan.

Bob Blackman, the Conservative chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health described the news as disappointing and repeated the warning that the 2030 deadline would be missed.

Rugby’s Mark Pawsey, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping, has demanded that the plan, whenever it finally appears, must include an approach to raise awareness of vaping and other alternative nicotine products to encourage long-term smokers to switch and reduce their exposure to harm.

What is now key is ensuring that information about these products reaches those who need it most, and in particular those living in areas of the country where smoking rates are highest. With this in mind, I hope the new Tobacco Control Plan will permit manufacturers of vaping, and other products, to raise awareness of them,” he said.

He also touched on the idea of placing inserts promoting vaping into packs of cigarettes.: “The APPG would welcome such a move, which would provide smokers with the relevant information on what other, less harmful products, are available to them.”

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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