Clause 7 - Sale of vaping products to under 18s

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:45 pm ar 9 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central 12:45, 9 Mai 2024

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for the point she made. Certainly, I did highlight that transitional benefit of moving from smoking to vaping to, hopefully, stopping altogether. However, we must also highlight that vaping is not without risk, and we need to give that serious consideration. I am just concerned that the Government are slightly light, shall I say, in terms of their concern about vaping, in order to drive down the smoking. I absolutely understand that, because smoking kills, but I just think that we could be on the “too light” side. I know that it is about balance, but I hope that we can reflect on that during the course of the Bill.

I want to draw out one question that I have about clause 9 and giving away vapes. I certainly understand why the measures would be applied to industry, but I want to ask about public health measures that could be deployed. I recognise that the clause is about under-18s, but unfortunately, despite the current legislation, we know that many people under 18 smoke, and we obviously need to ensure that they stop and move into a safer space. The Government have been very much pressing the idea that vaping is a route out of smoking. Does the Public Health Minister see vaping as a means to help people under the age of 18 to stop smoking, or will they have no access to vapes? I would just like some clarity around that. Clearly, there are other smoking-cessation programmes and products available, but it would be useful to know the answer to that question. If vaping is to be used in that way, and clinicians are to be able in future to prescribe or indeed provide vapes for young people to stop smoking—if that was the only tool—we need to understand whether we are to have a blanket ban in the Bill. It would be very useful to understand that.