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

Share on:
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) faces public questions in today’s article. The Secretary of State at the Department put Robbie Moore, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, up to provide the answers to Theresa Villiers and Steven Bonnar.

Chipping Barnet’s Tory MP Theresa Villiers asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Department has made a recent assessment of the impact of disposable vapes on wildlife and the wider environment.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary Robbie Moore replied: “A ban on the supply and sale of disposable vapes has been announced as part of the Government’s response to its consultation on smoking and vaping, launched in October last year.

“When littered, disposable vapes can introduce plastic, nicotine salts, heavy metals, lead, mercury, and flammable lithium-ion batteries into the natural environment. These items and substances contaminate waterways and soil, posing a risk to the environment and animal health.

“A ban on the supply and sale of these throwaway items will help to protect our environment, as well as future generations, from the harmful effects of disposable vapes.

“Defra commissioned external research to further understand the environmental harms of disposable vapes, which is published online. The objectives of this reported included understanding the UK single-use vape market, disposal methods, environmental impacts and other international approaches to regulating vapes.”

Unfazed by the oblique response, Theresa Villiers then asked Defra what discussions have been had with counterparts in the devolved Administrations on ensuring a consistent approach across the UK to the Government's proposed ban on disposable vapes.

Steven Bonnar, the SNP’s Shadow Spokesperson for the Environment, also asked the Secretary of State, “what discussions he has had with the Scottish and Welsh governments on ensuring the interoperability of a ban on disposable vapes.”

Steve didn’t explain why he needed to know if Defra had spoken to him at the Scottish Department he represents.

Robbie Moore responded: “Following the consultation on creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping, the recently published government response confirmed that the UK Government intends to bring forward legislation as soon as possible to ban the supply and ban of disposable vapes in England. Scotland and Wales also confirmed they intend to bring forward similar legislation and Northern Ireland is considering next steps following the consultation. We are in regular discussions with the devolved administrations on these proposals.”

Steven Bonnar concluded his questioning by asking the Secretary of State what steps the Department has taken to develop a detailed timeline for the roll-out of a ban on disposable vapes.

Robbie Moore told him: “Defra is currently developing the timeline for the ban on the sale and supply of disposable vapes and is engaging with devolved administrations across the UK as well as relevant enforcement agencies to ensure successful rollout. Any legislation taken forward will allow for an implementation period of at least six months, which takes into consideration concerns that industry will require time to adapt.”

Odd response considering Scotland has already announced its proposed timeframe.

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

CAPHRA Highlights Tobacco Control Flaws

The Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates highlights the flaws in tobacco control which has led to the rise of black market in Australia

Politics & Campaigns


Andrea Leadsom has been quizzed by Rupa Huq and Derek Thomas about the promotion of vaping and support to those who want to quit