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UKVIA welcomes ‘much needed breathing space’ to properly consider future vape legislation

May 23, 2024

Disposable vaping devices are seen for sale in a shop on May 30, 2023 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said it is “pleased to see” that the Tobacco and Vapes Bill will almost certainly not be rushed through the legislative process, prior to the election.

The fate of the bill has become uncertain as the parliament is set to be dissolved next week after Rishi Sunak called the General Election for 4 July.

The parliament will now initiate the process of ‘wash-up’ – when the government aims to progress legislation yet to clear all stages and receive Royal Assent. However, this period is only expected to last a few days until dissolution on 30 May.

“It is wrong to rush any legislation through parliament without proper scrutiny but with a bill like this, where lives are quite literally at stake, it is even more important that the correct checks and balances are in place when considering what new powers to introduce,” John Dunne, UKVIA director general, said.

“We believe that properly drafted new measures to ban child-friendly designs and flavour names and ensure that products, backed up by a powerful and effective enforcement regime will continue to see smoking rates fall while ensuring that youth uptake rapidly comes down.”

Since the Bill was announced, the UKVIA has maintained that the measures it contains could have such potentially grave impacts on the health of both smokers and vapers that it requires extremely careful consideration.

The trade body said it was “horrified” when it was revealed that the Department of Health and Social Care had failed to carry out any risk assessments into the health impacts of fewer people using vapes to quit smoking as a result of potential changes to flavour offerings, point of sale displays or packaging and product presentation.

They have also lambasted the one-sided membership of the committee steering the bill’s passage through parliament, as many factual errors about the health effects of vaping was presented to the committee, which excluded the vape industry and vape users from its hearing.

“The General Election gives everyone time to pause, take stock, and – should this bill be reintroduced once a new government is formed after July 4 – we will continue to engage with whoever is in power,” the UKVIA said.

“Whatever happens, the UKVIA remains committed to ensuring that adult smokers and vapers continue to have excellent access to the vaping products and flavours they require to keep them off cigarettes while protecting those underage from ever starting.”