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Responsible Vaping APPG calls for evidence-based approach for vaping regulation

April 12, 2024


Government should take a comprehensive evidence-based approach to vaping regulation, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Responsible Vaping has said, ahead of second reading of Tobacco and Vapes Bill that is set to resume in the House of Commons on Tuesday (16).

Tobacco and Vapes Bill will provide powers to restrict the flavours, point of display and packaging of vaping and other nicotine products. Separately, the government is already moving forward with regulations to ban single-use vapes. To be proposing further regulation prior to this significant action is of concern and risks potential unintended consequences, the cross-party group said.

APPG added that they intend to work collaboratively with the government to ensure that vaping policy, law and regulation is developed in a way which ultimately achieves the shared objective to reducing youth vaping, whilst not weakening the benefits of vaping in supporting adult smoking cessation.

Ahead of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill’s second reading, there are evidence-based concerns, it noted, particularly around the potential restriction of flavours that could undermine vaping as an effective cessation tool and inadvertently lead to an increase in smoking.

The Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) highlights that the government’s Impact Assessment should consider that restricting vape flavours may make vaping less enjoyable for many people, which could in turn increase cigarette cravings and make specific groups of people more vulnerable to relapse to smoking.

Further to this, the RPC note that the rationale for intervention for the range of vaping policies is weak and needs to be strengthened, particularly in light of the mixed-to-negative feedback in the ‘Smokefree Generation and Tackling Youth Vaping’ consultation.

APPG said they expect the Department for Health and Social Care to produce further assessments of the impacts of the vaping policies, and a comprehensive statutory consultation period, ahead of the introduction of any related secondary legislation.

“The APPG for Responsible Vaping has serious concerns about the vaping portions of the Bill, questions about the evidence it is based upon and also the unintended consequences that it may inadvertently drive more people towards smoking,” Gareth Johnson MP, chair of the Responsible Vaping APPG, said

“The potential adoption of stricter options on flavours, risks undermining public health goals, endangering progress towards a smoke-free future. We look forward to working with Government to ensure that vaping policies, specifically around flavours, packaging, point of sale, do not risk the positive role that vaping has and must continue to play for adult smokers.”