Politics & Campaigns

Parliament – House of Lords

In the final article of the week, we dive into what has been happening in the House of Lords (other than the loud sound of snoozing)

Share on:
Ask anybody who knows, and they’ll tell you nothing beats the excitement of a good question and answer session in the House of Lords. Household name Lord Randall of Uxbridge wanted to know what the Government is doing about disposable vapes. Lord Naseby wanted answers to the question of – oh, disposable vapes. Phew, Lord Porter managed to be original by worrying about children. And disposable vapes. Someone is rattling the Conservative peers of the realm.

Lord Randall of Uxbridge asked the Government what assessment has been made of the environmental and health impact of disposable vapes. He wondered when the Government were going to ban them.

In his position as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, Lord Markham told him: “The Nicotine vaping in England: an evidence update including health risks and perceptions, 2022 report published in September 2022 found that in the short and medium term, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking, but that vaping is not risk-free, particularly for people who have never smoked.

Whilst there are no immediate plans to introduce a ban on disposable vapes, the Government is concerned by the increasing use of disposable vaping products, particularly amongst children, and their impact on the environment when they become waste. We are exploring a range of measures to address these issues.”

It appears we are close to reaching that point where the Government could take action on disposables or e-liquids simply because they see it as a popular measure and ignore the independent experts calling for calm and an evidence-based approach.

Lord Naseby asked what steps are being taken to ban the importation into the UK of vapes with over 800 puffs. Those familiar with his work as the MP for Northampton South some years ago will not be surprised that Michael Morris is blissfully unaware of the need for companies to meet MHRA standards in order for their products to be licenced for sale.

Lord Markham responded: “For a producer wishing to supply nicotine containing vapes in the United Kingdom market they need to comply with the requirements set out in the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 which includes notifying the products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. Products that do not comply with the regulations may be subject to enforcement actions.”

Lord Porter of Spalding asked what plans the Government has to strengthen regulatory powers in respect of the sale of vaping products to children.

Clearly, being illegal isn’t enough for Lord Porter. Maybe he wants to see disposables made Double Illegal or, heaven forbid, Triple Illegal.

With the patience of Job, Lord Markham replied: “The Government is clear that vaping should only be used to help people quit smoking and vapes should not be used by people under the age of 18 or non-smokers.

“We have regulations in place to discourage underage vaping. The law protects children through restricting sales of vapes to people over the age of 18 only, limiting nicotine content, refill bottle and tank sizes, labelling requirements and through advertising restrictions. The Department continues to work with enforcement agencies to ensure these regulations are enforced in England. There are no current plans to strengthen the regulatory powers in respect of the sale of these products to children, but we will keep this under review.”

Cop that, Lord Porter! You can only make it illegal just the once. Maybe you should consider enabling Trading Stand…oh, hang on a second.

Lord Porter followed up by asking what assessment has been made of the adequacy of Trading Standards' powers to regulate the sale of vaping products and tackle illicit vaping tobacco products.

By Jove, I think he might be on to something here.

Responding for the Department for Business and Trade, Lord Johnson of Lainston said: “Vapes are regulated through the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 and the Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015. The Government continues to work with enforcement agencies to ensure these regulations are enforced in England.

“Suspected illegal activity should be reported in the first instance to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/).”

That’s all fine and well, Lord Johnson, but Trading Standards are saying they’ve been starved of funding for a decade and can’t enforce current legislation adequately.

No old men were harmed or alarmed in the making of this article.

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Vaping News

Harm Reduction For The Rich

The United Kingdom risks becoming a harm reduction country only for the wealthy, according to Michael Landl of the World Vapers’ Alliance

Vaping News

Sacrificing Health For 2p Cut

Tory Government alienates vaping voters with its mission to cut tax by an unaffordable 2p to attract voters by placing a tax on vape products in the forthcoming budget

Vaping News

Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today