Posted 16th March 2020 by Dave Cross
Viscount Ridley is concerned about the World Health Organization's position on India banning vaping, Alex Sobel asked about the Taskforce for Lung Health’s five year plan, and an Early Day Motion was tabled on the subject of No Smoking Day.

Conservative Viscount Ridley, a man who has worked tirelessly to support tobacco harm reduction in the UK, asked Her Majesty's Government, “what assessment they have made of the World Health Organization's decision to welcome the government of India's decision to ban e-cigarettes; and what plans they have to implement a similar ban in the UK?”

Lord Bethell, Lord in Waiting and HM Household Whip, responded: “The World Health Organization recommends countries either ban or regulate e-cigarettes. The Government has no current plans to ban e-cigarettes in the United Kingdom and they continue to be regulated under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016.”

“It remains the goal of the Government to maximise the public health opportunities presented by e-cigarettes to reduce smoking, while managing any risks. UK regulated e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking, but they are not risk free. Research shows e-cigarettes are effective in helping some smokers to quit. We continue to keep the evidence base on e-cigarettes under review.”

Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, asked the Department of Health and Social Care about Lung disease. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was pressed to detail what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Taskforce for Lung Health’s five year plan to improve respiratory health.

His inquiry was responded to by Helen Whately, Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care. She said: “The National Health Service has worked closely with the Taskforce for Lung Health to design the respiratory ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan. The national respiratory programme was developed using the recommendations from the Taskforce and further close collaboration will ensure alignment. The key objectives that address the recommendations in the Taskforce’s report include improvements in early and accurate diagnosis; pulmonary rehabilitation; medications management; and self-management. Separately to the respiratory programme, NHS funded smoking cessation interventions will also address recommendations from the Taskforce.”

The DUP’s Jim Shannon tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM), it was also signed by the following MPs:

  • Paul Girvan DUP
  • Carla Lockhart DUP
  • Gregory Campbell DUP
  • Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning Conservative
  • Rt Hon Liz Saville Roberts Plaid Cymru
  • Jonathan Edwards Plaid Cymru
  • Bob Blackman Conservative
  • Gavin Robinson DUP
  • Kirsten Oswald SNP
  • Mary Glindon Labour

The No Smoking Day EDM stated: “That this House notes that Wednesday 11 of March is No Smoking Day 2020 and thanks the British Heart Foundation for continuing to highlight this as a focal point for people to begin their journey to stop smoking; further notes that according to the World Health Organisation, tobacco kills half of its users; celebrates with those who have made the decision in previous years to quit resulting in 1.5 billion fewer cigarettes being smoked in the last 9 years alone; and encourages those who wish to stop smoking to use this as their focal point and the day to get the hope and support from their GP, family and friends to make this life changing decision.”


  • EDM No Smoking Day – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker