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Alexander Stafford MP

Rother Valley’s Conservative representative, Alexander Stafford MP has posed multiple questions about vape and other reduced harm products in Parliament

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Rother Valley’s Conservative representative, Alexander Stafford MP has posed multiple questions about vape and other reduced harm products in Parliament. From various aspect of disposable vapes to oral nicotine pouches, he was on a mission to discover how his party is planning to address them.

Alexander Stafford asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate has been made of the number of facilities in the UK that safely recycle disposable electronic cigarettes.

Speaking on behalf of the Secretary of State, Jo Churchill MP replied: “77 Approved Authorised Treatment Facilities (AATFs) are approved under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations for the treatment of Small Mixed WEEE which would include electronic cigarettes. It is a matter for the operator to decide what specific categories of equipment they choose to treat under the terms of their approval.”

Stafford then asked the Secretary of State an estimate is going to be made of the proportion of disposable electronic cigarettes that are properly recycled in the latest period for which data is available.

In her last act as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before resigning, Jo Churchill told him: “Neither Defra nor the Environment Agency collect data on the proportion of disposable electronic cigarettes that are recycled.”

Then Alexander Stafford moved on to the Department of Health and Social Care. He asked that Secretary of State what assessment has been made about the potential negative health effects of “smoking” disposable e-cigarettes.

He also asked to know what estimate is made of the number of people in total, under the age of 18, and who have never smoked cigarettes that were hospitalised with symptoms stemming from the use of e-cigarettes in the last year.

Given his attack on flavours earlier in the year, the use of the term “smoking” an ecig, and this concern over hospitalisations, it appears that someone is whispering in Stafford’s ear.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care Maggie Throup responded: “Although not risk free, e-cigarettes or vapes, including disposables, are less harmful than smoked tobacco. A Cochrane Review, ‘Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation’, found that the rate of adverse events reported for vapes is similar to that of nicotine replacement therapy.

“Through the current Tobacco Control Plan for England, the former Public Health England commissioned annual independent reports on vaping in England. The final report in this series will be published by the Office of Health Improvement and Disparities shortly. The report will include systematic reviews of the respiratory, cardiovascular and cancer risks from vaping, in addition to reports on the risks from fires, explosions and poisonings.

Any suspected adverse drug reaction (ADR) occurring after using a vaping product is reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). From 22 September 2020 to 22 September 2021, the MHRA received 50 suspected ADR reports associated with vaping use, with one report concerning an individual under the age of 18 years old. There have been seven reports concerning those aged under 18 years old in the last four years.”

Finally, Stafford asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if there are any plans to make a commitment to regulate oral nicotine pouches.

Maggie Throup told him: “Nicotine pouches are regulated under The General Product Safety Regulations 2005. During the Post Implementation Review of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, we received submissions to further regulate these products under this framework. We will keep this under review in the development of the forthcoming health disparities white paper and Tobacco Control Plan.”

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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