The U.K. Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) says it welcomes today’s announcement that the government is consulting on changes to the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR).
As the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union and take control of its regulatory landscape and ahead of recently announced development of a new tobacco control plan, there is an enormous opportunity to seize the public health potential of vaping, according to the UKVIA. “Our members have been working tirelessly to agree what a new settlement for vaping should look like, to bolster harm-reduction opportunities and support the government’s ambition for a Smoke Free 2030,” the organization wrote in a press release. “This will form the basis of our Blueprint for Better Regulation in the vaping industry, a document which we will be publishing shortly.”
Whilst smoking prevalence has declined across the U.K. between 2018-2019 by 0.6 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics, there are still 6.9 million smokers, representing some 14.1 percent of the adult population. Moreover, despite vaping being acknowledged as one of the best ways to quit smoking, and according to research has higher quit success rates than nicotine replacement therapies, there are still nearly a third (32.4 percent) of adult smokers in Great Britain that have never tried vaping. Therefore, positive regulatory change has the potential to unlock the public health prize presented by vaping, according to the UKVIA.
“We have been eagerly awaiting the news of the consultation for some time,” said John Dunne, director general of the UKVIA. “As an industry, the vaping community has done much to provide vital information and alternatives to smokers for many years, but there is only so much we can do in the confines of current EU regulations. With the support of all stakeholders, including government and regulators, the potential improvements to public health can increase tremendously.
“The British public is keen to see how new ways of doing things can improve their lives post-Brexit. The government’s handling of vaping will be a key, early test-case. The UKVIA’s Blueprint for Better Regulation document will show just what is possible when progressive, evidence-based approaches are taken.