June 9, 2022
The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has hailed the publication of an independent review into tobacco control which describes promotion of vaping as one of four “critical” policy pillars to ensure England achieves its “smoke free 2030” target.
The independent review by Dr Javed Khan, former chief executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, into tobacco controls on Thursday recommended offering vaping as a substitute for smoking, alongside accurate information on the benefits of switching, including to healthcare professionals.
The UKVIA welcomed the vaping’s recognition by the review, commissioned by the government, not just for the crucial role it currently plays in helping smokers to quit, but for the huge potential it has for tobacco harm reduction in years to come.
“As an association we couldn’t agree more with this report’s stark message for the government which is that, without immediate action, it will miss its smoke free targets by seven years,” John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA, said.
“The NHS tells us that around 78,000 people in the UK die every year from smoking, with many more living with debilitating smoking-related illnesses, so the time for inaction is over.
“Mr Khan unambiguously states that one of the critical ways the government can get its ambitions for a smoke free society back on track is through greater promotion of vaping and the UKVIA, which represents vaping organisations including retailers, manufacturers and distributors, will do everything we can to support this.”
The UKVIA added that it has long advocated for many of the conclusions cited in the Khan Review.
“One of the things we hear again and again is that people who switch from smoking to vaping are just swapping one bad habit for another, which simply isn’t true,” continued Dunne. “So any plans for mass media campaigning to dismantle myths about smoking and vaping are hugely welcome, and something we have long called for.
“The fact that Mr Khan’s review recommends that vaping promotion should be one of the critical policies to eradicate smoking is a truly great day for vaping advocates and marks another huge step forward for the tobacco harm reduction movement.”
Dunne hoped that the proposals and recommendations are carried forward and manifested in the government’s Tobacco Control Plan (TCP).
“So, while in some respects it is disappointing that Javed Khan hasn’t taken forward the full set of measured, evidence-based proposals put forward by the UKVIA in our “Blueprint for Better Regulation” document, there is still positivity that in addition to forthcoming TCP, our recommendations can also inform and influence the Health Disparities White Paper and independent review into tobacco control policies,” he said.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that the government will consider the recommendations and publish its own plan in due course.
“The Independent Review will help to inform our upcoming White Paper on Health Disparities, which we plan to publish this summer. To complement this, the Department will also be publishing a new Tobacco Control Plan in due course,” Javid told parliament in a written statement.