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Home News New Nicotine Alliance calls on Government to lift “counterproductive” EU vape laws

New Nicotine Alliance calls on Government to lift “counterproductive” EU vape laws

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:

  1. Lift the ban on oral tobacco (snus) and properly regulate all smokeless tobacco
  2. Raise the limit on nicotine concentration in vaping liquids to allow vaping products to compete more effectively with cigarettes
  3. Replace bans on advertising of vaping products on TV, radio, internet and in publications with controls on themes and placement
  4. Replace blanket bans on advertising of low-risk tobacco products with controls on themes and placement
  5. Replace excessive and inappropriate warnings on vaping products with risk communications that encourage smokers to try switching
  6. Replace excessive and inappropriate warnings on non-combustible tobacco products
  7. Allow and enable candid communication of relative risk to consumers
  8. Adopt a fresh approach to pack inserts for both vaping products and cigarettes to encourage switching to lower risk products
  9. Remove wasteful restrictions on vaping product tank and e-liquid container size that have no discernible purpose
  10. Recognise and regulate novel oral nicotine products

The government has said that it will look again at current tobacco and nicotine products restrictions in light of Brexit by May 2021.