Parliamentary Activity

Posted 22nd October 2021 by Dave Cross
David Jones MP, former Welsh Secretary and Brexit minister, and Mark Pawsey MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping (APPG), have been speaking out about the threat from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and pressing the Government on tobacco harm reduction. The WHO will host the ninth Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference Of Parties (COP9) summit this November.

The pair of pro-vaping politicians spoke about how the WHO’s stance on tobacco harm reduction is placing millions of lives at risk – both smokers who need encouraging to switch and ex-smokers who may be scared back from using e-cigarettes to smoking.

The WHO says you can’t compare the risk of vaping compared to smoking with any level of confidence, that ecigs are tobacco products, that vaping poses a clear risk to health, and people shouldn’t use vaping equipment.

It states: “E-cigarette emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users, and non-users who are exposed to the aerosols second-hand…evidence reveals that these products are harmful to health and are not safe.”

The COP9 summit will see a deluge of anti-vaping comments made by delegates influenced by money flowing from billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

David Jones insists they are ignoring the fact that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking – and that around 8 million people die every year from tobacco use.


The WHO has launched an anti-scientific crusade against vaping, which has been shown time and time again to help smokers quit. The organisation consistently praises nations who undertake ever more draconian measures against vaping,” he told journalists.

“These decisions cost lives, and the UK must take a stand. Just like the EU, the WHO is a bureaucratic body, unaccountable to the British people, and is aiming to control domestic health policy, to satisfy its own prejudices. Brexit offers us a unique opportunity to assert our sovereignty and ensure our health policy remains unaffected by outside interference.’’

“Unlike previous COPs, the UK does not have to join the EU’s position. We are not bound by Brussels, we are independent and free to back the science, back Public Health England, and back our own health experts, over the WHO. We must not fall into bad habits and simply join the EU position because it would be the easy thing to do. Brexit meant control over our own policies. This is our chance to show the electorate what that means. We must use our freedom to save lives.”

Mark Pawsey expressed relief that the UK Government has fully supported vaping and a harm reduction approach to combatting tobacco-related disease. He called COP9 a “threat looming on the horizon” and places the success we have experienced at risk.

In Parliament, Pawsey asked the Secretary of State and Health and Social Care about data demonstrating that vaping has “plateaued”. He wanted to know if the Department for Health was planning to up its effort to communicate the benefits of switching to vaping.


Maggie Throup, the newly appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care, told him: “Public Health England’s smoking cessation marketing activity, including the current ‘Stoptober’ campaign, signposts to a range of quitting support such as replacing tobacco with electronic cigarettes. The updated National Health Service Quit Smoking app launched in advance of Stoptober will continue beyond the campaign with ongoing development planned.

In 2022, the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will publish an independent review of the up-to-date evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes. The review will include information about the relative harm of smoking and vaping. New guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, to be published in November 2021, will advise the public and health professionals on the most effective ways of stopping smoking and reducing its burden of death and disease.”

David Jones asked Throup when the planned timetable for the Tobacco Control Plan for England would be published.

She replied: “The Department is currently in the process of drafting the new Tobacco Control Plan working closely with Public Health England and other Government departments. We expect the final Tobacco Control Plan to be published by the end of the year.”

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