Brexit has provided the country with the opportunity to reshape its tobacco harm reduction policy to be more comprehensive, proactive and progressive.
The UK has been a leader in endorsing the use of safer alternatives to reduce tobacco harm, and local smoking rates are reflecting this. Earlier this year, e-cigarettes were officially recognized as smoking cessation tools by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and included in their newly released tobacco guidelines. While, Public Health England (PHE), also an agency of the UK Ministry of Health, is renowned for having consistently recommended switching from smoking to vaping in order to reduce harm.

And Brexit has of course provided the country with the opportunity to reshape its tobacco harm reduction policy to be more comprehensive, proactive and progressive. Following its departure from the common market, the U.K. has been reviewing its Tobacco and Related Products Regulations. The review, required to take place five years after implementation, coincides with the four-year interval stipulated for review of the TCP, a new version of which is scheduled for introduction by the end of this year.

The NNA proposes a coherent risk-based framework for all safer nicotine products

Earlier this year, the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) had explained that on behalf of UK consumers of vaping and other low-risk nicotine products, it was proposing the creation of “a coherent risk-based framework for all safer nicotine products” in order to promote advances in public health, personal and economic well-being across the country.

The NNA emphasised how the recommendations put forward would not only meet government targets and add to the levelling up agenda, but also involve no additional public spending. Moreover, referring to the infamous EU TPD and its counterproductive effects on reducing smoking rates, the NNA said that its recommendations offer an “opportunity to ‘take back control’ from the mistakes of EU regulation in this policy area.”

Recently following up on that letter, the charity wrote again offering a more comprehensive set of suggested policy changes, with the aim of maximizing the potential of safer nicotine products in order to match the government’s smoke-free 2030. Once again the agency highlighted the need to embrace science and be done with outdated ideological approaches that do not work.

The UK’s pragmatic approach should be reinforced

Meanwhile, Mark Pawsey, a conservative member of Parliament who set up the APPG for Vaping in 2014, said that the UK’s pragmatic approach should be reinforced. “I wouldn’t want to preempt what may be in the new TPC, but what I hope to see is a much more positive approach regarding the efficacy of vaping from a harm reduction and smoking cessation perspective. The U.K. has adopted an evidence-based, pragmatic and yet progressive approach to vaping and harm reduction, and this should be reinforced. I would also like to see some of the transposed EU legislation from the Tobacco Products Directive removed from domestic legislation, such as restrictions on vape juice bottle sizes and the maximum nicotine strengths allowed for vape juices. The latter is crucial in enabling heavy smokers to make the switch to the much less harmful alternative of vaping,” he said as quoted by the TobaccoReporter.

Vaping Advocate Groups Commend UK Government For Embracing Science

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