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Parliament This Week

Questions and answers in Parliament about vaping and tobacco harm reduction

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Lord Jones was wondering about the carcinogen levels in smokeless tobacco products. Ben Bradley was asking about the government’s Smokefree 2030 ambition, the Tobacco Control Plan, and how the Department of Health plans to improve public understanding of the alternatives to tobacco.

In the House of Lords, Lib Dem Lord Jones asked Lord Kamall if the government is aware of any analysis of carcinogen levels in smokeless tobacco products and if so, what assessment has been made of this analysis.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State told him: “The Department has not conducted its own independent analysis on the toxicity levels of nicotine pouches, South Asian chewed tobacco or snus but monitors the evidence on these products.

“The Committee on Toxicity of Food, Consumer Products and the Environment is considering the toxicological risks of tobacco-free oral nicotine pouches and it will publish a position statement once completed.

“Whilst the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus are far lower than smoking, snus is banned in the UK. The Government has no plans to introduce additional tobacco products to the UK market, as safer nicotine delivery products are currently available for smokers. There is evidence that snus is associated with risk of adverse health effects and higher all-cause mortality.”

Ben Bradley MP asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if he plans to publish his response to the Independent Review of Smokefree 2030 Policies. He then wanted clarification on what period will be covered by the new Tobacco Control Plan for England and its delivery plan. Finally, he asked what plans the Secretary of State has to improve smokers’ awareness of e-cigarettes, heat-not-burn products and nicotine pouches.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup replied: “There are no current plans to publish a response to the Independent Review of Smokefree 2030. However, the Review and its recommendations will inform the Department’s health disparities white paper and Tobacco Control Plan, which will be published later this year.

“The Tobacco Control Plan and any accompanying delivery plan remains under development and no time periods have yet been determined. The Plan will be published later this year.

“A new Tobacco Control Plan will set out policy proposals and supporting regulatory changes to meet the Smokefree 2030 ambition. This will include new measures to improve smokers’ awareness of alternative and less harmful nicotine products such as e-cigarettes. Measures on nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products will also be included in the Plan. The Plan is due to be published later this year.”

The former Public Health Minister Steve Brine recently affirmed his commitment to Smokefree 2030. At an event in Parliament organised by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), Brine said: “I worked closely with ASH when I was at the Department of Health and they have a fine pedigree of informing Government and helping us transition towards smoke free. We’ve done a lot in 50 years but, as ASH are well aware, we have a lot more to do starting with a new ambitious and deliverable Smokefree England plan this Spring.

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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