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More vape and tobacco harm reduction related news from the House of Commons

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In the latest vape and tobacco harm reduction related news from the House of Commons, the LibDems’ Daisy Cooper is interested in the online vape market. Labour’s Alex Cunningham presses the government on the still absent tobacco control plan, and Liz Twist wondered about healthy life expectancy.

Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, asked the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Department is taking steps to control the sale of vapes supplied through online marketplaces.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy responded: “Products, including those such as vapes, whether sold through on-line marketplaces or in shops, need to comply with existing product regulation. Such products must be both safe and compliant with any restrictions relating to their sale.

“However, eCommerce has brought new challenges to the product safety framework as was highlighted by respondents to the Government’s Call for Evidence as part of the Product Safety Review. A consultation, including proposals to tackle the sale of unsafe products online, is being finalised for publication.”

Alex Cunningham, the Labour for Stockton North made a point of order to the Deputy Speaker. He said: “We seem to have been waiting for many years for the tobacco control plan from the Government—a plan to reduce and then eradicate smoking in communities by 2030.

“Sadly, despite promises from a series of Health Ministers, we are still waiting. Now we have mixed reports about the Government plans on funding and the proposal to increase the age at which people can buy tobacco products.

“Many thousands of people continue to die from smoking every year and many more suffer chronic ill health. We need action now. Have you had any indication from the Government that they plan to publish the tobacco control plan and/or make a statement, not just on the 2030 target, but on their policy going forward?”

Madam Deputy Speaker, Dame Rosie Winterton replied: “I thank the honourable Gentleman for his point of order and for giving me notice of it. I can tell him that I have had no indication from the Government that they intend to make a statement on the subject, but I am very aware that we have a well-occupied Treasury Front Bench and I am sure they will have noted his comments and will feed his concerns back.”

Liz Twist, the Labour MP for Blaydon asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care whether it remains the Department’s policy to narrow the gap in healthy life expectancy between areas where it is highest and lowest by 2030.

Speaking on behalf of the Department, Neil O'Brien, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Primary Care and Public Health, told him: “The ambition to improve healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 and reduce the gap by 2030 remains Government policy.

“A significant proportion of ill-health is preventable. We are focusing on the major conditions which contribute to early mortality and reduce years of good health and factors such as smoking, poor diet and alcohol which disproportionately impact some communities.

“The measures include the ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030 and addressing obesity through working with the food industry to ensure it is easier to make healthier choices and to increase progress on the reformulation of foods. We will set out more information on plans to address health disparities in due course.”

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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