Politics & Campaigns

Parliament and Vape Politics

Clear evidence from Parliament that vaping is becoming weaponised as the political parties move into election mode and seek to appeal to their respective bases

Share on:
This week’s political coverage takes a more serious turn as the political environment appears to be weaponizing vaping and tobacco harm reduction. While Baroness Parminter’s disposable vapes environmental question is pretty standard, coverage on the BBC and in newspapers takes a darker turn. The news that children are to be taught about the harms of vaping adds an unsettling tinge.

Baroness Parminter, Chair of Environment and Climate Change Committee, kicks off this coverage with yet another question about the environmental impact of disposable vapes and if the Government is going to “build awareness of the direct effect of disposable vapes on the environment.”

We have seen a stream of similar question over the last couple of months and there appears to be no letting up despite the answers always being similar.

Lord Benyon, The Minister of State at the Department for Environment, told her: “Disposable vapes are considered to be electrical products and fall within scope of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations. Businesses placing more than 5 tonnes of disposable vapes onto the UK market have a financial obligation to fund the collection and recycling of waste disposable vapes.

The regulations also set minimum recycling targets for waste electrical equipment. We will shortly be consulting on reviewing these regulations with a view to introducing measures aimed at driving up levels of collections of waste electricals, including vapes, to ensure more of these products are properly recycled.”

BBC’s Question Time dwindling audience (from an average of 3.5 million to the equivalent of the daytime half a million ITV’s This Morning manages) were fortunate to hear Labour’s plan for vaping.

Following a question “Should vapes be banned, unless prescribed by a professional?”, Jess Phillips MP, replied that while they offer benefits to smokers – she used vapes to help her quit smoking – Labour’s position is that marketing to children remains a perceived problem and needs legislating against.

Labour has also attacked the pro-vape Conservative Adam Afriyie for a claimed breach of lobbying rules. The Windsor MP stands accused of failing to declare that his wife holds shares in a disposable vapes company.

Someone informed the i newspaper that the vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping has also failed to declare that he holds an unpaid position as a chair of Elite Growth, who sell the Moodbar disposable vape products.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs, it has provided further negative coverage about vaping and tobacco harm reduction.

Over in the Daily Express, Andrew Lewer MP and Mary Glindon MP have warned that the Government needs to stand up to the World Health Organisation (WHO). The pair sit on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vaping with Adam Afriyie.

Lewer and Glindon said that the WHO is “rabidly anti-vaping” and questioned whether the UK should continue to fund the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control if it continues to regurgitate Bloomberg funded lies about tobacco harm reduction.

The Department for Health and Social Care has stated that the review of ‘Relationships, Sex and Health Education’ delivered in school will now recommend that children will have to “learn about the harms of vaping”.

Action on Smoking and Health’s Hazel Cheeseman said this approach is akin to “closing the door when the horse has bolted”.

She added: “To truly change youth vaping patterns we need to make the products the most appeal to them, disposable vapes, more expensive, tackle their promotion and crack down on illicit supply. Government announcements will not sufficiently do any of this.”

The Government’s call for evidence about youth vaping concluded Tuesday 6 June. It has said that all options remain open depending on what it uncovers. As covered last week, the mood music is not positive and that sense runs through the statement made by Professor Chris Whitty.

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

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

Vaping News

Industry Licensing Scheme Proposed

A vape industry licensing scheme will generate £50m+ per year to combat underage and illicit vape sales according to industry experts