October 30, 2020
A consumer body representing users of non-combustible nicotine products has written to the government to urge a fresh approach to regulation after Brexit.
Addressed to Jo Churchill MP, Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, and Munira Mirza, director of the taskforce on Health and Social Care for the No 10 Policy Unit, the proposals include rolling back on advertising bans and on-pack warnings and raising limits on nicotine concentration for products, so that they can become a more effective tool for smokers looking to transition away from cigarettes.
In the letter, signed by New Nicotine Alliance chair Martin Cullip and advisor Clive Bates, the organisation said it supports the government’s efforts to become ‘smoke free’ by 2030 goal and agrees with efforts to encourage smokers towards “low-risk alternatives to smoking” such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products, smokeless tobacco and novel oral nicotine products such as pouches.
The letter states: “These products, beyond any reasonable doubt, offer deep reductions in risk to a smoker who switches from cigarettes to any of these products. The NHS already promotes switching from smoking to vaping through its public health campaigns and messaging.”
Yet the New Nicotine Alliance said, up to now, the UK has been limited in the ways it can support the reduced-risk product industry due to EU restrictions such as EUTPDII:
“The effectiveness of this approach is currently held back by poorly designed and counterproductive European Union legislation. This creates disincentives and barriers to switching and has the effect of protecting the cigarette trade and implicitly promoting smoking.”
The ten proposals are:
The government has said that it will look again at current tobacco and nicotine products restrictions in light of Brexit by May 2021.