Reply from Richard Graham MP (Gloucester) regarding the TPD Article 20 and #LordsVapeVote

On the 27th of May this year I wrote to +Richard Graham to express my concerns on and disapproval of the TPD Article 20 and its transposition into UK law as The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016

Today I received a reply from Richard, on the morning after we learnt the #LordsVapeVote had been sunk, downgraded from a "Fatal Motion" to a "Regret". I am posting Richards email and my reply below. It's a pretty weak and ineffectual repeat of "party line" I'm afraid, rather disappointed that no effort seems to have been taken.

Dear John,

I understand that you feel strongly about E-Cigarettes and that they've helped you and your family. The government recognises the benefits, but the quality of products on the market remains variable at the moment. So that's why they think this is a proportionate regulation, and introduced it to create minimum standards for safety and quality for all e-cigarettes and e-liquids.

I am aware that the Department of Health has met with Lord Callanan to understand his concerns and to share with him the work that has gone into making the UK’s implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive both pragmatic and proportionate. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and public health NGOs have made very clear that they support proportionate regulation of e-cigarettes to enable confidence in their use.

The approach the government is taking is a progressive and liberal one, supporting vaping as a means to get people to stop smoking, where we have some of the strongest evidence in the world. The government's approach will support the UK to become a centre for the design and manufacturing of e-cigarette products.

Incidentally the RCP supports the government’s position here. I hope that's reassuring.

Best regards


Richard


Erm, no Richard, it only supports small parts of it. My reply follows;



Dear Richard,

Thank you for your reply. I'm not satisfied with the response however as it fails to address the points raised in my previous email. I am more than a little disappointed in it's "toeing the line".

The RCP and PHE support proportionate and sensible regulation, but they do raise flags on the impact it will have on effectiveness. We're fully aware of the lobbying that has been carried out over the last few weeks by ASH (who are UK and EU govt funded and should therefore be restricted by Purdah). They have falsely stated that the TPD is needed for plain packs and proxy purchase restrictions which is untrue, the UK has enacted these separately.

The 10ml refill and 2ml tank limits are based on a false nicotine toxicity assessment. Both of these increase the risk of relapse due to "running dry" for no safety or health gain.

The same is true of the 20mg/ml strength limit. This is absolutely going to affect the 10% of existing vapers who use liquids over 20mg and the millions who won't be able to switch due to insufficient strength. Again, this is a massive relapse risk for no safety or health gain.

Finally, the advertising restrictions are directly called into question in the RCP report. They seriously impact on the potential uptake and thereby reduction in rates of smoking.

I'm acutely aware that government wishes to avoid embarrassing or angering the EU at this time. And I have never wished to see vaping become a Brexit issue.

However the actions by the EU and inaction by this government have ensured it is a Brexit issue with 2.8 million affected.

I would value an honest and truthful dialogue on this, I have little interest in party lines. If people are against switching to far safer product then they need to be honest about that and their reasons why, both to themselves and the public.


Regards



John Summers

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