Politics & Campaigns

WVA Condemns Rishi Sunak

The World Vapers Alliance has spoken out about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pivot, transforming the United Kingdom from international tobacco harm reduction champion to global straggler

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The World Vapers Alliance (WVA) has expressed serious concerns about the introduction of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill today. The UK government is planning to ban smoking for future generations, banning disposable vapes, imposing restrictions on product design and displays, and also limiting vaping flavours to just four types.

Justifying the new legislation, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “If we want to build a better future for our children we need to tackle the single biggest entirely preventable cause of ill health, disability and death: smoking.”

The problem with the Tobacco and Vapes Bill is that it doesn’t just address smoking, it seeks to limit access to vapes and grants powers to the Government to make them less attractive to adult smokers.

We are a libertarian party,” Tory MP Greg Smith told journalists. “Or many of us are, and this is not a very liberal measure. I would anticipate there will be a significant bite-back. There could be upwards of 80 MPs on the Conservative benches opposing this. I’m not a smoker, nor have I ever been, but I do recognise that this is about telling adults what they can and can’t do. It’s also going to place extra pressures on small businesses at a time when they are facing significant additional overheads.”

A number of high profile Tories have already voiced their opposition to the Bill, including ex-Prime Minister and economic genius Liz Truss.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, commented: "The UK's latest turnaround on vaping flavours is not just misguided, it's dangerously out of touch with scientific reality. By pushing restrictions on flavours, the Sunak government blatantly disregards a wealth of scientific evidence that underscores the benefits of vaping when compared to alternatives. Flavoured e-cigarettes have been proven to increase the chances of successful smoking cessation by 230% compared to non-flavoured alternatives. It's appalling to see such a pivotal public health tool being dismissed by the government that used to be at the forefront of harm reduction."

The WVA highlights that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking and more effective in aiding smoking cessation than traditional methods like gum and patches. The organisation emphasises that restricting or banning access to vaping flavours will not only undermine public health efforts but also lead to unnecessary loss of lives.

"By restricting access to flavours, a pivotal tool for many smokers transitioning to safer alternatives, the government is effectively closing off a proven pathway to quitting smoking", added Landl.

The WVA urges the UK government to reconsider its stance, adopt a more evidence-based approach towards disposable vapes, and keep the current harm reduction strategy. The organisation calls for a focus on robust enforcement of existing age restrictions and a deeper understanding of the reasons behind vaping, particularly among teenagers.

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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