Politics & Campaigns


News related to vaping and tobacco harm reduction from United Kingdom’s Parliament

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Labour’s Emma Hardy asked about the environmental impact of disposable vapes, pointing to the benefits of banning them. Conservative Daniel Kawczynski asked about the potential to use Brexit to diverge from Europe’s Tobacco Products Directive. He asked a similar question to the Department of Health. Finally, Sir Charles Walker pressed on the subject of Smokefree 2030.

Emma Hardy, the MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the potential for single-use vaping pens to be recycled including the plastic body, the circuit board, and the battery components. She also wanted to know if he will make an estimate of the number of disposables currently being sent to landfill and if he will make an assessment of the effect on the environment and the potential merits of a ban on their sale.

Jo Churchill, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State responded: “Household electrical equipment, including vape pens, containing plastics, circuit boards and batteries can be recycled. A national electricals recycling locator has been established by Material Focus to guide householders to their nearest electrical recycling point.

“No specific assessment has been made of the numbers of vape pens that go to landfill, however, the government plans to consult on reforms to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations later this year. Those reforms will seek to address the estimated 155,000 tonnes of small electricals discarded annually in residual waste.”

Daniel Kawczynski, the MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham asked the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the potential merits of diverging from the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive in favour of progressive tobacco harm reduction policies that support the Government's levelling up agenda.

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency responded: “No formal assessment has been made but I have received correspondence on this matter from members of the public in response to my requests to readers of the Sun and the Sunday Express. It is for the Secretary of State for the Department of Health and Social Care to consider any changes to the policy. As set out in the ‘Benefits of Brexit’ paper, published on 31 January, DHSC will set out proposals for regulatory reforms in a new Tobacco Control Plan due to be published later this year.”

Daniel Kawczynski also asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care what steps are being taken to reduce smoking prevalence following the UK leaving the European Union.

Public Health Minister Maggie Throup told him: “Since the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in 2020, we have continued to support people to quit smoking by investing in local stop smoking services, delivering targeted public health campaigns and enforcing a strong regulatory framework. We have also commissioned an Independent Review into Tobacco Control, which will make recommendations to support the ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030. The Review will be published shortly.”

Sir Charles Walker, the Conservative MP for Broxbourne asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care what steps his Department is taking to meet its target of England being smoke-free by 2030.

Sajid Javid told him: “Some 64,000 deaths a year are attributed to smoking and it is one of the greatest drivers of health disparities in our country. I am personally determined that we should do everything we can to reach the Government’s ambition of a smoke-free 2030. That is why, in January, I asked Javed Khan to lead an independent review into tobacco control. Once that review is complete, the Government will set out their next steps.”

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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