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UKVIA Supports Pack Insert Idea

The UK Vaping Industry Association has welcomed the suggestion that switch to quit messages should be placed in cigarette packs, and says it should happen as soon as possible

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has welcomed the suggestion that switch to quit messages should be placed in cigarette packs, and says it should “be introduced without delay”. UKVIA believes that adding inserts to cigarette packs will help smokers quit. Similar schemes already exist in Canada and Israel, with Australia poised to follow suit.

Announcing a tobacco inserts consultation which runs until October 10, Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Smoking places a huge burden on the NHS, economy and individuals. It directly causes a whole host of health problems – including cancers and cardiovascular disease – and costs the economy billions every year in lost productivity.

“By taking action to reduce smoking rates and pursuing our ambition to be smokefree by 2030, we will reduce the pressure on the NHS and help people to live healthier lives.”

The UKVIA says it has been calling for health information inserts in cigarette packets “for years now” and that it forms part of its Blueprint for Better Regulation for the vaping industry which was published ahead of the government’s 2021 review of the TRPR.

UKVIA Director General John Dunne said: “While we welcome today’s announcement, we can’t understand why it has taken so long to implement such a relatively simple policy.

“When we first called for this measure in 2021, data from ASH showed that just over 30% of smokers wrongly believed that vaping was either as harmful or more harmful than cigarettes. Today that misperception is at an all-time high with one in four smokers now believing that vaping is either as or more harmful to their health.

“The reality is that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking so we clearly need to bridge this misinformation gap without delay.

“However, inserts alone won’t solve the problem and if the government is determined to harness the power of vaping to help meet its smokefree 2030 targets, this should be accompanied by a series of approved switching messages that vaping brands could use on TV, radio and national print media as this is how older smokers get their information. The industry is currently restricted from doing this and there is no logical reason that these restrictions cannot be abolished.”

The UKVIA report said the Government needed to tackle misinformation effectively, adding: “The Government may wish to give further consideration to the role inserts inside packs of combustible tobacco products could play in encouraging smokers to switch from conventional cigarettes or highlighting the harm reduction benefits of vaping.”

The Blueprint for Better Regulation also suggested new messaging for use on e-cigarette packaging, such as:

  • If you are a smoker, switching completely to vaping is a much much less harmful option
  • Switching completely from smoking to vaping will reduce harms to your health and
  • Completely replacing your cigarette with a vape will reduce harms in your health.

John said: “More than 200 people die in every day in the UK due to smoking-related diseases so it is vital that smokers are given the facts to allow them to make informed decisions to switch to a significantly less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

“The consultation is a welcome first step but we need quick action to make this a reality so that we save lives and reduce the terrible burden that smoking causes the NHS.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said the proposed inserts would contain ‘positive messages to encourage people to quit and signpost them to advice and support’.

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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