The Prime Minister has recently announced that the Government is creating the first smoke-free generation, by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 this year or younger will never be legally sold tobacco products. As someone who lost both their parents to the impact of smoking, I believe this is a brave and much needed stance.
While e-cigarettes are not risk free, the Government supports the use of e-cigarettes as a means to stop adults smoking and contribute towards the goal of a smoke free England by 203.
Some of the highest success rates of those trying to stop smoking are among adults using an e-cigarette, with evidence suggesting that an additional 70,000 people stop every year as a result of using these devices. An estimated 2.4 million vapers are former smokers, and Vaping Awareness Month - VApril - highlights the potential health benefits of making the switch.
I note your concerns about the World Health Organisation's proposals for the Conference of the Parties Tenth Meeting (COP10).
The Government has regularly set out its position on vaping at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and will do so at the next conference in Panama in November 2023. The delegation will not agree to any decisions which would impact on the UK's ability to make regulated vapes available for adult smokers who wish to quit smoking.
The latest ‘Vaping in England’ report published last year, which includes an array of evidence produced by the United Kingdom academic community, is publicly available online and has been shared with the World Health Organization Global Tobacco Regulators Forum.
As with previous events at the Conference of the Parties, the Government will use the opportunity to speak about the UK’s progress on the implementation of tobacco control policies. This will include the role of nicotine replacement therapy and vapes in supporting people to quit all forms of tobacco.
All the COP papers and decisions during the COP are available through the following link: Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties (who.int)