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New All Party Parliamentary Group for Responsible Vaping launched

March 21, 2024

Gareth Johnson (Photo: UK Parliament)

MPs from across the political spectrum have come together to launch a new cross-party group on vaping.

The APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) for Responsible Vaping aims to provide a voice on vaping issues within the parliament and with a clear focus on proportionate regulation and responsibility within the sector.

The inaugural meeting saw the election of Gareth Johnson (MP for Dartford) as chair.

The following officers were also elected: Mary Glindon (MP for North Tyneside) as vice chair, Mark Logan (MP for Bolton North East) and Mark Eastwood (MP for Dewsbury).

“I have been interested in the benefits of vaping for some time. There are now millions of former UK smokers who quit thanks to vaping. However, the sheer volume of legislation proposed on the sector over the next 18 months is considerable and its critical we get the balance right,” Gareth Johnson said.

“The APPG will act as a focal point for vaping issues within parliament, particularly in making representation to government as it seeks to introduce a raft of measures in the coming months, including a new vape tax and a ban on disposable vapes. The Vapes Bill introduced to parliament this week will also give government wide ranging, and as yet, undefined enabling powers to regulate packaging, display and flavours.

“Vaping has the potential to save so many more lives whilst if half of every current smoke quit, it would save the NHS £500 million per year. But it is critical as this weight of legislation is designed and moves forward onto the statue book, that there is a strong voice on vaping in parliament.

“I would therefore urge ministers to constructively engage with the APPG over the coming months to ensure that the regime we end up with is fair and balanced, safeguards children and the environment, without risking the many benefits that vaping can bring.”

The new group is being supported by the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA). It follows the UKVIA-supported APPG for Vaping, which was closed down in November last year.

Vaping is already estimated to contribute to about 50,000 to 70,000 additional smoking quits in England.

“As MPs decide on proposed regulations during the passage of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill, it is clear that disproportioned restrictions on flavours would undermine the government’s ambitions for a smokefree future by 2030,” the trade body said.

The IBVTA research showed 46 per cent of smokers and 37 per cent ex-smokers in the UK have used vaping as a tool to kick cigarettes, and a substantial 72 per cent of ex-smokers (quit in the past 5 years) stating that single use vapes helped achieve a smoke-free life.

IBVTA research also found that of those that vape, 41 per cent used fruit flavours, and 8 per cent used other flavours such as cola and vanilla most often. This represents almost half of all those who vape. 59 per cent report that having a range of flavours helps them to reduce their smoking or from going back to smoking.