The NNA said that its recommendations offer an “opportunity to ‘take back control’ from the mistakes of EU regulation in this policy area.”
Registered UK charity New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has written to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care at the Department of Health and Social Care, Jo Churchill, and the Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza, suggesting post-Brexit tobacco and nicotine policy reforms.
In a release on its website, the NNA explained that on behalf of UK consumers of vaping and other low-risk nicotine products, the charity is 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.
These recommendations involve no additional public spending
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.”
Last August, the charity had issued a press release calling on local policymakers to lift the counterproductive EU-wide ban on snus. “It is inexplicable why the EU continues to perpetuate the ban on European smokers choosing to switch to snus, not only is the sale of snus permitted in the USA but they have now allowed one company to make the undisputed claim that “using snus instead of cigarettes puts you at a lower risk of mouth cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis”, the difference in approach could not be more stark, and it is the EU which is being reckless with its public’s health, not America,” said the NNA’s snus expert, Mark Oates.
The UK may be changing its stance
However, added the NNA, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. As when Churchill, had recently been asked whether the UK government would consider conducting an assessment on the effectivity of the ban on snus, his answer had indicated a change in stance.
“The Government will consider in due course reviewing the position on snus, and whether the introduction of this product onto the UK market would promote a proportionate approach to managing risks, one which protects the young and non-smokers, whilst giving smokers access to products which may reduce harm,” said Churchill.
“This contrasts with previous answers on the subject from the Department of Health – notably during Steve Brine’s tenure – which indicated that no research evidence was even being collated,” pointed out a hopeful NNA.
The charity added that the UK government has recognised the benefit in embracing tobacco harm reduction and has therefore pledged to “maximise the availability of safer alternatives to smoking” in its ongoing Tobacco Control Plan.