Tag Archives: vaping

We should be ashamed of our failure to oppose the Smoking Ban

The recent Tobacco and Vapes Bill, that passed its first reading in the Commons with an overwhelming majority, is decidedly anti-liberal and anti-freedom; and I’m extremely upset that the party leadership decided not to take a stand on this. When I first joined the Liberal Democrats, one of the primary reasons was that I believed us to be the last remaining party in this country to be fundamentally pro-Freedom, and to hold that as a core and imperative value. It seems that this is slipping through our fingertips.

The bill aims to do a number of things – my particular contention is with the idea of banning smoking for life for those who are turning 15 this year – thus making them a ‘smoke-free’ generation. It’s action on vapes is a separate matter, that I won’t address here. There are so many issues with this action, for anyone who cares about individual liberty.

Firstly, to smoke is an individual choice. Over recent decades, the wealth of scientific evidence has concretely proven the overwhelmingly devastating health impacts of tobacco – and I would argue almost no one legitimately disagrees with the idea that those who smoke know that its harmful. However, steps have been taken – such as the limiting of advertising and the proliferation of health advice – that have resulted in smoking rates also dropping significantly. In essence, people who smoke know what they’re doing. Restrictions on smoking in indoor places have also had an impact on second-hand smoking, again contributing to the idea that those who smoke are only harming themselves.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 51 Comments

We should ban disposable single use vapes

As the LGA Liberal Democrat Group’s spokesperson on health issues, I am very pleased that we may be seeing a successful outcome to the call by LGA and councils to ban disposable single use vapes. The government have just announced that they are looking at bringing in legislation to ban single use vapes.

In consultation with our Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP I have successfully called for the Local Government Association to back a ban, especially given the plethora of alternative vapes available for smokers to use as an aid to quit. Evidence shows that there is an alarming increase in the number of children vaping and of the detrimental impact of disposable vaping products upon the environment.

I am not anti-vaping as I recognise for some it can help people cut down on smoking but single use vapes blight our streets as litter, are a hazard in council’s bin lorries, are expensive and difficult to deal with in our recycling centres in addition to the health hazards. Their colours, flavours and advertising are appealing to children and are a risk to the health of young people.

As Liberals we try to avoid banning things – but in this case it is about preventing harm especially to children. Re-usable vapes will still be available for those wanting to quit smoking.

It is important that a ban is brought in as soon as possible. Disposable vapes are an inherently unsustainable product, meaning an outright ban will prove the most effective solution to this problem.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments
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