Vaping News

Backbencher Debate

The government has been urged to investigate the potential that vapes are being marketed to teens despite legislation being in place to prevent such sales

Share on:
The government has been urged to investigate the potential that vapes are being marketed to teens despite legislation being in place to prevent such sales. The call came during a backbench debate about Smokefree 2030 led by Conservative Bob Blackman, the MP for Harrow East.

Bob Blackman opened by saying: “This House has considered the recommendations of the Khan review: Making smoking obsolete, the independent review into smokefree 2030 policies, by Dr Javed Khan, published on 9 June 2022; and calls upon His Majesty’s Government to publish a new Tobacco Control Plan by the end of 2022, in order to deliver the smokefree 2030 ambition.”

The all-party parliamentary group led by Bob Blackman called for this debate before the summer recess when Sajid Javid was the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Javid previously said he would “assess the options to be taken forward in the new Tobacco Control Plan, which will be published later this year”, but no work has been done to move forward on this position since that time.

We have since had several changes of Health Ministers and Secretaries of State, but it should not be forgotten that a new tobacco control plan was first promised in 2021,” continued Blackman.

Blackman believes that the Government must strive to achieve Smokefree 2030 and eliminate smoking for “the health and wellbeing of our entire population.” By tackling smoking related increases sickness, absenteeism and disability, he says that it will deliver economic growth.

The total public finance cost of smoking is twice that of the excise taxes that tobacco brings into the Exchequer.”

Liz Twist (Labour MP for Blaydon) welcomed the suggestions contained within the Khan report, especially the polluter pays proposal to place a levy on tobacco companies, “I ask the Government to consider it again as a means of funding the essential work on stopping smoking.”

In responding, Blackman pointed out that the government’s inaction means it will miss the target to reduce smoking status at time of delivery.

Currently, 9.1% of women, or about 50,000 women a year, smoke during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy is the leading modifiable risk factor for poor birth outcomes, including stillbirth, miscarriage and pre-term birth,” he said.

Concluding his statement, Blackman warned the government about the latest intervention from the Institute of Economic Affairs, an organisation part funded by the tobacco industry.

It’s alternative to Smokefree 2030 “is entirely in the interests of the industry”.

Labour’s Alex Cunningham drew laughter from MPs, saying: “I congratulate the hon. Member for Harrow East on an excellent and measured speech. I could make my shortest speech ever by simply saying, ‘I agree with Bob’.”

Cunningham continued by acknowledging that the government has succeeded to a certain extent in reducing smoking rates – primarily through its support of vaping - but added: “In their election manifesto, the Government claimed: ‘We are committed to reducing health inequality.’ Why, then, are there such pronounced inequalities?”

Maggie Throup MP called on the government “to clamp down on the illegal supply of vapes to those under the age of 18. I also ask him for an update on progress in getting a vaping device authorised through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency”.

The new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Neil O’Brien responded: “I have personal experience on this subject, and a real passion for and dedication to achieving a smoke-free England by 2030—a goal to which the Government are completely committed.”

O’Brien made no promises for the release of the new Tobacco Control Plan.


Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
View Articles

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.

Join the discussion


Parliament Fears Two

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs faced questions from a Conservative MP and, oddly, a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Politics & Campaigns


Andrea Leadsom has been quizzed by Rupa Huq and Derek Thomas about the promotion of vaping and support to those who want to quit

Vaping News

Vaping Has “Substantial Potential”

The UK Parliament Health and Social Care Committee has been told that vaping has ‘substantial potential’ to solve the problem of the harms caused by smoking by Professor Peter Hajek

Vaping News

Trading Standards Welcomes Clarity

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute says it welcomes the “clarity and action from government to tackle youth vaping” with the plan to ban disposable vapes and related announcements