The Cross Party APPG for Vaping has completed its consultation exercise into electronic cigarettes and has made its recommendations for future policy in the United Kingdom
Brexit has divided opinion in the United Kingdom, but it actually offers up a benefit for smokers looking to stop using tobacco and vapers who want to remain tobacco-free. Up to this point, we have been limited by the regulation adapted from Article 20 of the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive. With the review of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR), we face the prospect of the law being made more supportive of e-cigarettes and tobacco harm reduction.
MP Mark Pawsey leads the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping. This APPG consists of politicians from across the House of Commons and set up a consultation exercise to feed into the TRPR review.
The Group requested opinions and evidence from members of Parliament, charities, members of the public, think tanks, primary healthcare providers, trade organisations, journalists, academics, researchers, and any other relevant stakeholders
One trade body, the UK Vaping Industry Association, told the politicians that it believed the government should become more proactive in promoting vaping to smokers through largescale campaigns. It also thinks ministers should look at structural reform so that lies and half-truths about e-cigarette use can be countered more rapidly.
It added that the messaging being used on packaging ought to be changed to reflect the reduced harm offered by e-liquid over tobacco. The examples it offered included:
- “If you are a smoker, switching completely to vaping is a much less harmful option”
- “Switching completely from smoking to vaping will reduce harms to your health”
- “Completely replacing your cigarette with a vape will reduce harms in your health”
The trade organisation included more proposals covering an increase in the maximum tank capacity to 5ml, an increase in e-liquid bottle size, and different regulation covering the type of images allowed on e-liquid bottles.
Consumer group The New Nicotine Alliance told the APPG that current laws place a disproportionate emphasis on the worry over teen vaping and that the environment surrounding vaping works to discourage long-term heavy smokers from making the switch away from tobacco products that kill over half of the users.
One of the key concerns the charity has is that only 11% of smoking cessation services offer smokers free vape starter kits.
That said, as pointed out by umbrella consumer group The European Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates, the positive news is that despite the Tobacco Products Directive, the UK still remains at the forefront of combatting tobacco-related harm.
“We know that vaping products are far more accessible to adult smokers in the UK than in many other European countries and we commend the UK government for maximising the opportunities offered by e-cigarettes,” it said.
The government is scheduled to announce its plans for legislation over the summer.