Cross-party group on vaping launched to ensure new UK laws are “fair and balanced”

Ali Anderson
Ali Anderson
April 2, 2024
3 min read
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A cross-party group on vaping has been launched in the UK in a bid to combat harmful misinformation and ensure any new legislation is “fair and balanced.”

The APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) for Responsible Vaping will provide a crucial voice on vaping within Parliament, with a focus on proportionate regulation and responsibility within the sector.

Gareth Johnson MP, Chair of the APPG, said: “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 it’s critical we get the balance right.”

Supported by the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA), the APPG for Responsible Vaping supports an ‘evidence-based’ approach to vaping regulation. 

This means it will consider the positive benefits of vaping in helping people to quit smoking alongside concerns such as a rise in children vaping and the illegal vape trade. 

Mr Johnson MP added: “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 the 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. If half of every current smoker 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 statute 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.”

Research by the IBVTA shows that 46 per cent of smokers and 37 per cent ex-smokers in the UK (who quit in the last five years) have used vaping as a tool to kick cigarettes. 

Vaping is already estimated to contribute to about 50,000 to 70,000 additional people quitting smoking per year in England.

The launch of the APPG comes as a new study shows more than HALF of smokers in England wrongly believe that vaping is more harmful or as harmful as smoking.

The study led by University College London (UCL) researchers, published in the journal JAMA Network Open and funded by Cancer Research UK, looked at survey responses from 28,393 smokers in England between 2014 and 2023.

It found that public perceptions of vapes had worsened considerably over the past decade.

In June 2023, 57 per cent of respondents said they thought vaping was equally as harmful as smoking or more harmful.

Lead author Dr Sarah Jackson, of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, said: “These findings have important implications for public health. The risks of vaping are much lower than the risks of smoking and this isn’t being clearly communicated to people.”

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