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The WVA Speaks Out

The World Vapers’ Alliance speaks out about Rishi Sunak’s anti-vape legislation and the overregulation taking place in Turin

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As MPs lined up to vote in Rishi Sunak’s anti-vape legislation, the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) warned that the United Kingdom stood on the verge of a public health disaster. The Bill will prohibit the sale of tobacco to anyone aged 15 and under, but contains provisions that will deter smokers from switching to vaping. In Turin, the city council passed an amendment, introducing significant restrictions on smoking and vaping. 

The WVA warned British MPs to reconsider their vote as Sunak’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill moves to the next stage in the Parliament. The proposed bill implies that anyone born after 2009 will not be able to purchase cigarettes or Heat-not-burn-tobacco products. The Parliament also agreed on possible restrictions on e-cigarette flavours and product packaging among others. 

While the intention to prevent the population from the growing smoking epidemic is commendable, the additional ban of Heat-not-burn-tobacco products is raising concerns. These products have been proven to be a lot less harmful and together with flavoured vapes and other nicotine products, such as pouches, have been crucial in aiding millions of smokers quit. The Bill is creating a dangerous precedent of disparities in legislation for different groups of population and risks being applied for other, less harmful products which have been crucial in combating smoking,” said Michael Landl, director of the World Vapers’ Alliance.

We are calling on Members of Parliament who voted for the bill to reconsider their vote. Approving such a bill carries many unintended consequences such as expansion of the cigarettes or flavoured e-cigarettes black market and youth indulgence in smoking habits.

There are a few examples when legislators tried to implement generational bans which have not succeeded, such as Bhutan where the generational ban resulted in a huge black market growth and had to be eventually reversed. Let’s not risk the health of the UK population and focus on educational and risk-based approaches.”

World Vapers Alliance has compiled a vast fact sheet on tobacco harm reduction, including data on nicotine, flavours, and taxation that is available here

In Turin, the new amendment prohibits smoking or vaping near other people outdoors without their explicit consent if within five meters.

Michael Landl explained that this measure will actually harm the population and not protect it and additionally be unenforceable:

He said: “There is no scientific basis for 'passive vaping,' making an outdoor vaping ban for public health reasons completely illogical. Equating vaping with smoking only perpetuates the false perception that they carry similar risks, discouraging smokers from switching to a less harmful alternative. Furthermore, how would such a 5-metre rule even be enforced? This is nothing more than a poorly conceived publicity stunt by the council, one that could have serious negative consequences.”

Alberto Gómez Hernández, Policy Manager of the World Vapers’ Alliance added: “It is completely absurd to equate vaping and smoking, especially when it comes to the regulation of smoke-free areas and outdoor spaces. While the smoke from traditional cigarettes harms those near the smoker, e-cigarettes’ vapour is virtually harmless for those around the vaper. This measure will be impossible to enforce and will only further discourage smokers from switching to safer alternatives.” 

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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