News from Parliament

Posted 17th September 2021 by Dave Cross
Rugby’s Mark Pawsey asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care about the World Health Organization’s Conference of Parties (COP9). He also wondered if the Secretary of State had considered his All-Party Parliamentary Group’s findings. David Jones wanted to know about the next review of e-cigarettes and the Lib Dem’s Daisy Cooper sought clarification on the subject of NHS prescription vapes.

Mark Pawsey, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Vaping asked what evidence will be used to reach the UK’s agreed position on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) ahead of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control ninth Conference of the Parties. He said this was important as this will be the first COP the UK has attended since it left the EU.

He also wanted an assessment made of the potential implications for policies due to the findings of the APPG’s report titled “UK Tobacco Harm Reduction Opportunities Post-Brexit: Achieving a Smoke-Free 2030”.

Jo Churchill, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, responded: “Ahead of COP9, the Government will be considering domestic and international evidence on electronic nicotine delivery systems. This will include Public Health England’s seventh Vaping in England report, which was published in February 2021. No further information will be issued by the Department ahead of COP9.”

Replying to the question regarding the APPG’s report, she said: “This publication will be considered alongside a wide range of evidence to inform the Government's policy on the role of e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit smoking.”

David Jones asked the Secretary of State if the next departmental review of vaping and other alternative nicotine products will be conducted by the Office for Health Promotion.  He wanted to know when this review will be published and if it will include a chapter on heated tobacco. Finally, Jones asked for an “Authoritative Assessment” from Public Health England in its eighth evidence review on relative harms of nicotine delivery products in 2022.

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Jo Churchill told him: “The Department does not recognise the term ‘Authoritative Assessment’. The next iteration of Vaping in England was commissioned by Public Health England in 2020 and is being conducted by an international panel of tobacco control experts led by King’s College London.

“The report will include a summary of the Cochrane Collaboration’s systematic review of the health effects of heated tobacco products and analysis of data on patterns of use. It is expected that this will be published in March 2022 by the Office for Health Promotion, following its launch on 1 October 2021.”

Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Education, asked the Secretary of State if there are plans to implement the recommendation from the APPG on Smoking and Health to make the route to medicinal licensing fit-for-purpose to allow e-cigarettes to be authorised for NHS prescription.

Jo Churchill said: “The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for the regulation of medicines in the United Kingdom. They continue to provide scientific and regulatory advice to applicants who wish to licence an e-cigarette medicinal product. The MHRA is in the process of updating their guidance which will further support potential applicants to meet the standards of quality and efficacy expected. The guidance will be published by the end of August.”


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