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NNA Writes to Coffey

The New Nicotine Alliance has written to Thérèse Coffey MP, the Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care

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The New Nicotine Alliance has written to Thérèse Coffey MP, the Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care. The UK charity represents consumers of low-risk alternatives to cigarettes such as vaping products, nicotine pouches, smokeless and heated tobacco products.

As consumers,” the New Nicotine Alliance writes, “we have a direct interest in the regulation of these products and the personal and public health consequences of policy choices made by the government. We have seen press coverage suggesting that you may drop the smoking action plan. As consumers, we believe there are ways to address smoking that rely on consumer choice, deregulation, competition and private sector innovation.”

The charity details “twenty concrete measures with five quick wins that could be taken to bring on a rapid decline in smoking. These could be fashioned into an alternative programme to the interventions proposed by Javed Khan.”

The New Nicotine Alliance’s letter follows strong rumours that Coffey plans to throw the Tobacco Control Plan onto “the ideological bonfire”. As we wrote last week, the Plan was set to bring about a “vaping revolution” and build on the successes the disruptive technology has had in reducing UK smoking rates. Following the Khan Report, a White Paper on health disparities was due to be published back in July.

The charity says its twenty proposals “would promote both public health and personal and economic wellbeing and help the government in pursuit of its Smokefree 2030 goal. They are designed to reduce smoking prevalence with the consent of those affected rather than traditional tobacco control approaches.”

The New Nicotine Alliance’s five easy wins:

  1. Lift the EU-imposed ban on snus
  2. Remove the EU-imposed 20mg/ml limit on the strength of nicotine e-liquid
  3. Eliminate pointless EU-imposed restrictions on tank and refill container sizes
  4. Replace excessive and inappropriate warnings on vaping products
  5. Replace excessive and inappropriate warnings on non-combustible tobacco products

It says these easy wins can be achieved merely by scrapping unnecessary and counterproductive EU regulations within the government’s Brexit Freedoms Bill proposals.

The New Nicotine Alliance’s longer-term recommendations:

  • Replace partial bans on vape advertising with controls on themes and placement
  • Replace blanket bans on advertising of low-risk tobacco products with controls
  • Limit plain packaging to combustibles but control themes on smoke-free packaging
  • Require NHS inserts in cigarette packs to encourage switching to smoke-free products
  • Allow commercial inserts in cigarette packs to promote smoke-free products
  • Amend the leaflet requirement in vaping products
  • Drive motivation to switch with improved risk communications
  • Take a principled approach to flavoured smoke-free products
  • Introduce consumer protection regulation for modern oral nicotine pouches
  • Use fiscal policy to support the transition to smoke-free alternatives
  • Protect use of smoke-free products in public places
  • Impose well-designed age restrictions
  • Strengthen healthcare and public health system response
  • Support prescribing of e-cigarettes on a trial basis and engage with vape shops
  • Use science and evidence to underpin the strategy

These longer-term proposals focus on deregulating or amending current regulations and policy towards lower-risk non-combustible products to improve health.

The charity continues: “The latest research by tobacco control organisation Action on Smoking and Health estimates that there are now 4.3 million vapers in Great Britain, over half of whom have quit smoking entirely thanks to vaping products. Removing pointless EU-derived regulatory barriers would be popular with current vapers and could encourage more smokers to switch. Freeing up the potential of other low-risk nicotine alternatives by promoting their use as a replacement for combustible tobacco can also help drive further declines in smoking prevalence.”


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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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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.

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