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Further Parliamentary Activity

Yet further questions and answers from the Houses of Parliament regarding vaping and tobacco harm reduction

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Continuing a very busy time for tobacco harm reduction and vaping in the Houses of Parliament, Lib Dem Daisy Cooper was concerned about advertising and the lack of a Tobacco Control Plan. Kirsten Oswald wondered about teen vaping, Hendon Tory Matthew Offord raised the subject of recycling disposables, and Shadow Environment Minister Ruth Jones was also concerned about the environment.

Daisy Cooper asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, regarding ecig advertising, when the Tobacco Control Plan is going to be published.

Ignoring our suggestion to have the response printed on cards and liberally flung in the air, Neil O'Brien, the Minister for Primary Care and Public Health repeated once more: “We are considering the recommendations made in ‘The Khan review: making smoking obsolete’ and further information will be available in due course.”

Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Equalities Kirsten Oswald asked the Secretary of State what steps the Department for Health and Social Care is taking to discourage underage vaping.

Neil O'Brien replied: “The Government is clear that vaping should only be used to help people quit smoking, vapes should not be used by people under 18 years old or non-smokers.

“We have some of the strongest regulations in place to discourage underage vaping. The law protects children through restricting sales of vapes to over 18 years old only, limiting nicotine content, refill bottle and tank sizes, labelling requirements and through advertising restrictions.

“We have recently updated information and advice on the Better Health and Talk to Frank websites to raise awareness of the risks of vaping to children.”

Matthew Offord asked the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Environment Agency has taken enforcement action to ensure companies selling disposable e-cigarettes are compliant with the waste electrical and electronic equipment producer scheme in each of the last seven years.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rebecca Pow told him: “The Environment Agency undertakes a number of investigation and intervention steps prior to enforcement action, such as compliance monitoring and issuing advice and guidance. To date, the Environment Agency has not taken enforcement action under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations against any company selling disposable e-cigarettes.”

Offord followed up by asking which companies selling disposable e-cigarettes are listed on the waste electrical and electronic equipment public register.

Pow responded: “Producers registered under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations are not required to report data at a product specific level. Producers of disposable vapes are required to report data under Category 7 (leisure equipment and toys) along with any other equipment they place on the market in that category. It is therefore not possible to identify from the public register which companies are placing disposable e-cigarettes on the UK market.”

Shadow Environment Minister Ruth Jones asked the Secretary of State for Environment what assessment has been made of the potential merits for the environment of a ban on disposable vapes and the environmental impacts of disposables.

Rebecca Pow replied: “The Government is seeking to develop its evidence base on the environmental impacts of disposable e-vapes.

“Whilst there are no immediate plans to introduce a ban, the Government is concerned by the increasing use of disposable vaping products, particularly amongst children, and their impact on the environment when they become waste. We are exploring a range of measures to address these issues. The Department plans to consult on reforms to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations this year. It will consider what more can be done to improve levels of collection re-use and recycling of electrical equipment including vapes.”

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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