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WVA Applauds UK Government

The World Vapers’ Alliance has applauded the UK Government for its increased efforts to back vaping

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UK Health Minister Neil O’Brian announced the United Kingdom will further double down on backing vaping as a smoking cessation tool by encouraging one million smokers to swap cigarettes with free vape starter kits, provide financial incentives to pregnant women to quit smoking, and introduce mandatory information sheet inserts into cigarettes packs.

The World Vapers’ Alliance, a global vaping consumer organisation, praised the UK government’s commitment. These measures will strengthen the UK’s position as one of the tobacco harm reduction champions worldwide, said Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance:

The UK is a smoking-cessation champion and harm reduction leader worldwide. Smoking rates have fallen by more than 29% in the last decade since vaping became widely popular, and the government must double down on embracing vaping. The broad adoption of vaping due to strong political backing and sound medical evidence is why smoking rates decrease faster than in other countries. Further helping smokers to switch will accelerate the UK’s success story.”

Politico recently reported that some ministers were considering imposing higher taxes on vaping products, and enforcing new regulations on packaging and flavours in response to the Khan Review published last year. This would endanger the progress achieved by fully embracing vaping for smokers.

It is great news for public health that Health Minister O’Brian withstands the pressure from anti-vaping groups, who ignore scientific facts and the success of the UK’s approach. Caving-in would be a disaster for smokers and current vapers. Higher taxation of vaping products and equalling vaping with smoking, rather than a risk-based regulation, would push many vapers back to smoking and not help current smokers to switch to a less harmful alternative”, added Landl.

Compared to the EU’s 25% smoking rate, the UK is on the right track and these new policy measures would be a further push in the right direction. Earlier this year, the UK was crowned as one of the tobacco harm reduction champions by the World Vapers’ Alliance in the Tobacco Harm Reduction Policy Primer.

At the launch of the new plan, Health Minister Neil O’Brien said: “Up to 2 out of 3 lifelong smokers will die from smoking. Cigarettes are the only product on sale which will kill you if used correctly.

We will offer a million smokers new help to quit. We will be funding a new national ‘swap to stop’ scheme - the first of its kind in the world. We will work with councils and others to offer a million smokers across England a free vaping starter kit.

“The new policies will deliver the government’s 3 aims to help more adults quit smoking, stop children and non-smokers from taking up vaping, and using vaping as a tool for established adult smokers to quit.

“For those who quit, the risk of heart attack is halved after one year of quitting, ultimately halving the likelihood of ending up in a hospital bed or worse.

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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