Speaking on a recent New Nicotine Alliance webinar [link], Mark Pawsey MP said how British legislation needs to address the issues of packaging waste, small bottle sizes and the limit to nicotine content in order to maximise vaping’s potential to help smokers switch to reduced harm.
He made a plea to vapers to get them to urge their local MPs to get involved with the inquiry: “We want to influence [COP9] and there is some concern that the WHO is seeing the use of e-cigarettes in exactly the same way as tobacco. I could do with more MPs; I could do with more support in Westminster. For those who feel strongly about it: Get in touch with your MP, in your communication tell them about the All-party Parliamentary Group and ask them to come along and get involved.”
Pawsey is the chairperson for the All-party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPG). Its inquiry is to collect evidence and issue a report on the FCTC’s COP9.
It will be addressing five key question areas:
- Public Health England has said that alternative nicotine delivery devices which are less harmful than smoking could play a crucial role in reducing the huge burden of smoking. Given this, what is the policy rationale for intervention, and how does it compare or differ from current UK Government policy?
- To what extent will COP9 justify any measures it proposes?
- What advice and evidence does the WHO receive and how this leads them to their policy positions?
- To what extent will these proposed measures impact upon health policy in the UK?
- To what extent has the WHO moved away from the FCTC protocol, given its original commitment to Harm Reduction? Is it still fit for purpose in its current form given that the Reduced Risk Products available on the market are now so prevalent and have moved in significantly since 2003 when the FCTC came into being?
The APPG is calling for evidence submissions from ministers, government bodies, charities, stop smoking services, members of the public, think tanks, primary Healthcare Providers, trade bodies, consumer groups, journalists and academics.
The APPG plans to hold three meetings, of which two will be hearing submissions of evidence and allow MPs to question presenters. Currently, these will be held virtually but this could change depending on COVID restrictions in 2021.