Now that Brexit has begun, it’s time to start looking towards the future. With Britain leaving the EU, will there be any change in the laws surrounding vaping? And, will there be any other changes to regulations? We contacted MPs to find out their opinion on the subject. Our local Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry, gave us his thoughts on the future of vaping.
Attitudes towards vaping
There are numerous studies showing that e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. Public Health England even stated they are around 95% safer. However, there is still some social anxiety surrounding vaping. Berry told us, ‘I recognise that e-cigarettes help some smokers to quit, and the evidence indicates that they are considerably less harmful to health than cigarettes. At the same time, it is essential that we do not encourage smoking and continue to protect children from the effects of nicotine.’
It is unlikely that we will see any big changes in the world of vaping this year. The process of leaving the EU will not happen overnight, and any legal changes will need to be debated first. However, Berry expressed that the government will want to focus on vaping regulations as part of this change. He said:
‘The European Tobacco Products Directive is already part of UK law, and the British Government will continue to meet all its legal obligations. I know that the Department of Health is committed to a full review of the functioning of the regulations which implement the Tobacco Products Directive, within five years of entering into force. The impact of these regulations on the use of e-cigarettes is one of the many areas that the Government will want to consider carefully as part of the process of leaving the EU.’
Help to quit smoking
Increasingly, people who want to quit smoking are turning to e-cigarettes as a safer alternative. The BBC reported that ‘Since 2012, they have replaced nicotine patches and gum to become the most popular choice of smoking cessation aid in England’. It is also estimated that one in 20 adults now uses e-cigarettes. Almost all of these are trying to cut down, quit smoking, or have smoked in the past.
Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England believes that local public services should support smokers using e-cigarettes to try and quit. He stated, ‘Smoking remains England’s number one killer, and the best thing a smoker can do is to quit completely, now and forever,’ and also went on to say, ‘The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting.’
Speaking on behalf of his party, Berry told us:
‘Ministers understand that e-cigarettes are helpful to some people wishing to quit smoking, but the quality of products on the market remains highly variable. It is, therefore, important that proportionate regulation is introduced to ensure minimum safety requirements and that information is provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices.’
So, in the future, we may see stricter safety regulations being implemented on vaping products. For better or worse, what’s clear is that health and safety is one of the most important aspects to consider when updating regulations.
What do you think will change this year in the world of vaping? Let us know in the comments!