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New Government for Vaping

Following the general election, the Labour Party has formed the new government and Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed ministers who will influence vape policy

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Following the general election, the Labour Party has formed a new government and Prime Minister Keir Starmer has appointed the ministers who will influence vape policy. We look at who is in post and what this might mean moving forward. We will cover Wes Streeting’s appointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in a separate article.

Professor Dame Angela McLean

Currently, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser will remain Professor Dame Angela McLean.

Patrick Vallance

On Friday 5 July, former chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance was named as Minister of State for Science in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. Prime Minister Keir Starmer will be elevating Patrick Vallance to the House of Lords so that he will be able to take up his role.

Vapers will know Patrick Vallance from his time as the government's Chief Scientific Adviser, frequently appearing next to Boris Johnson and the Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, as part of frequent television briefings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Wes Streeting has been given the role of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. We are looking at his background and position on vaping in a separate article this week.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Start for Life and Primary Care

This post was previously held by Andrea Leadsom, during which time she fashioned some staunchly anti-evidence-based parts of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill.

The post is yet to be filled at the time of writing.

Labour’s position while in opposition

Labour planned on supporting the Conservative’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill in the last parliament.

Then, Keir Starmer said: “We must take preventative public health measures to tackle the biggest killers and support people to live longer, healthier lives. That starts with smoking. Labour will ensure the next generation can never legally buy cigarettes ... Labour will ban vapes from being branded and advertised to appeal to children to stop the next generation from becoming hooked on nicotine.”

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill planned to:

  • Restrict vape flavours to mint, menthol, tobacco and “fruit”
  • Restrict packaging designs and labels
  • Restrict how vapes can be displayed in shops
  • Banning free samples for under 18s

The Labour Party has not commented on the scheduled tax levy to be applied to vaping products.

The new government is committed to banning disposable/single-use vapes.

Of all of these measures, the banning on popular adult flavours makes the least sense.

The New Nicotine Alliance says: “Flavours appeal to adults and create a disassociation between smoking and vaping. Most vapers start on tobacco flavours and move on to others. Fruit, sweet and bakery flavours are appealing to adults, and for many people are preferable to tobacco. There is no comparison between, for example, the taste of 'juicy peach' and the taste of cigarette smoke, and this distances vapers from their previous smoking habit.”

What can I do?

If you are concerned about paying more for your vapes or the potential banning of flavours, the new parliament will be introducing a huge number of new MPs – all of which need to be educated by vape consumers about the benefits of vaping and the kind of products that helped you to quit smoking and remain tobacco-free.

The various websites are currently being updated with details of the new MPs. Keep checking this one so you can write directly to yours: https://www.writetothem.com/?a=westminstermp

Also, you can write to Wes Streeting at the Department for Health now:

Address post to him at the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit, Department of Health and Social Care, 39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0EU

You can send an email to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care here: [email protected].

Photo Credit:

  • Labour Party image https://x.com/Keir_Starmer/status/1809088307365642258/photo/1 Keir Starmer image https://x.com/10DowningStreet Government logo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_the_United_Kingdom

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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