Politics & Campaigns


Adam Afriyie MP warns the Department for Environment of the impact of a disposables ban and Andrea Leadsom goes on about nicotine dependence for absolutely no reason

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In this visit to Parliament, we hear Adam Afriyie MP prompting the Department for Environment to consider the unintended consequences of a disposables ban on the environment. Then, responding to a question from Rachael Maskell, Andrea Leadsom talked about “overcoming nicotine dependence” as if nicotine is not roughly the same as caffeine. 

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s Conservative MP, asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment has been made of the potential impact on the environment of non-compliant vapes – the products that will proliferate following the ban on disposable/single use products.

Robbie Moore, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, replied on behalf of the Secretary of State, saying: “As confirmed by the Government response to the consultation on ‘Creating a Smokefree Generation and Tackling Youth Vaping’ consultation, Defra is leading on implementing a ban on disposable or single-use vapes due to the environmental harm caused by these devices. 

“On 11 March draft regulations were published along with an impact assessment, which set out the main environmental concerns. Single-use vapes are an inefficient use of finite raw materials, they are inherently difficult to recycle and are often discarded incorrectly. When littered they pose a risk to soil, water and biodiversity and are a fire risk when thrown into residual waste. 

A report published by Defra earlier this year provides a broader assessment of the environmental impacts of single-use vapes. Defra has not made any environmental assessment of current non-compliant vapes.”

So, rather than addressing the problem in a logical and adult manner, the Department for Environment thinks that after the ban it can pretend single-use products will no longer exist – which for them is true as they won’t be in office anymore.

Rachael Maskell, York Central’s Labour/Co-operative MP, asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care whether plans to develop vaping cessation programmes are being considered.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care never responds on vape related matters, it’s always Parliamentary Under-Secretary Andrea “I hate anything that looks like smoking for puritanical reasons” Leadsom. 

Vaping can be an effective tool for adult smokers to quit smoking. However, the health advice is clear, if you don’t smoke, don’t vape, and children should never vape,” said Leadsom through gritted teeth.

We are concerned about the worrying rise in vaping among children, with youth vaping tripling in the last three years, and one in five children having now used a vape.”

The latest news from ASH that there isn’t a worrying rise in vaping among children is going to come as a bit of a blow.

Finally, getting to the point, she added: “Whilst anyone smoking should focus on giving up cigarettes before giving up vaping, giving up vaping is an important step in overcoming nicotine dependence. We are working with the NHS Better Health website to provide advice for people who want to quit vaping. The National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training has produced guidance for local Stop Smoking Service staff on how best to support vapers to quit. We are also exploring further ways to support people to quit vaping, as part of the national Swap to Stop programme.”

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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