Politics & Campaigns


Tobacco harm reduction, vaping and appointment news from Parliament

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As widely predicted, the new Prime Minister has made yet more changes to the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition, questions about guidelines, the smoking-free 2030 target, and EU-derived regulations from MPs Andrew Rosindell, Andrew Gwynne, and Martyn Day have all elicited answers.

Ministerial appointments

  • Neil O’Brien OBE has been re-appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health and Social Care
  • Maria Caulfield has been appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department of Health and Social Care
  • Will Quince MP (Colchester) has been re-appointed as health minister
  • Helen Whately MP (Faversham and Mid Kent) has been appointed health minister
  • A Public Health Minister has not yet been appointed

Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative for Romford, asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if an assessment of the potential impact of UK Vaping Industry Association guidelines on (a) packaging, (b) labelling and (c) flavour names guidelines on limiting the appeal of e-cigarettes to (i) people who have never smoked and (ii) young people will be made.

He also asked the Secretary of State what assessment has been made of the potential merits for children's health of increasing the level of fines for underage sales of vaping products.

Acting as the late Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Dr Caroline Johnson said: “We have no plans to make a formal assessment of the UK Vaping Industry Association’s guidelines. However, we are considering the recommendations made in ‘The Khan review: making smoking obsolete’, including measures to prevent young people and non-smokers from starting to vape.

“No assessment of the potential merits of increasing the level of fines for underage sales of vaping products has been made. Under the regulations, if an individual is found guilty of selling nicotine inhaling products to a young person under 18 years old, they may be fined up to £2,500. A business found to be repeatedly selling nicotine inhaling products to children could receive a Restricted Sales Order or a Restricted Premises Order from the court.”

Andrew Gwynne, the Labour representative for Denton and Reddish, asked the Secretary of State whether the Department plans to take steps to achieve a smoking-free target by 2030.

Dr Caroline Johnson replied: “We are currently considering the recommendations made in ‘The Khan review: making smoking obsolete' and further information will be available in due course.”

Finally, Martyn Day, the SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, asked the Secretary of State, with reference to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, whether EU-derived regulations which restrict the marketing and distribution of tobacco and vaping products will be transferred into UK law and not lapse on 31 December 2023.

Dr Caroline Johnson responded: “The Government is currently reviewing how the powers provided by the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill can be used, including which retained law should be repealed, reformed or preserved. Any such reforms to tobacco control will not reduce the United Kingdom’s current standards. Maintaining patient safety and public health will remain paramount and the Government continues to work with a range of organisations and stakeholders.”

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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