Clause 62 - Contents and flavour of vaping products and nicotine products

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:45 am ar 14 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities) 10:45, 14 Mai 2024

The clause is important. We have had discussions here and listened to experts in numerous sessions, which should give us a real opportunity to pause and consider why the measure is necessary. We know the incredible damage that smoking does to far too many lives and the importance of assisting people to stop smoking. Vaping can certainly be an important and helpful part of smoking cessation—that must be acknowledged.

I find it difficult, though, to imagine that many people successfully stop smoking by using a hot pink disposable pocket-money costing vape in “candy floss unicorn” flavour. That is not what those are for nor what they are aimed at. Action to deal with flavourings, as well as names and descriptions and so on, is essential. We are more than able to deal with smoking cessation and the importance of supporting that at the same time as dealing with the harms of vaping. I would be interested if the Minister could tell us about lessons from elsewhere about how that has successfully been done.

It is important to reiterate the significant numbers of youths who vape: 7.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds currently vape. That is not those who have tried vaping. For those who have tried vaping, the numbers are significantly higher and they are absolutely targeted by marketing. Even those numbers—which, as the mother of teenagers, certainly will give me further grey hair—are partly because of the exposure to marketing. We know that wherever we are and whichever shop we go into, we see attractive displays of vapes, and the flavours are a part of those displays. More than half of young people have felt exposed to that kind of marketing in shops, and nearly a third online. The Minister will not be surprised to hear me remind the Committee that people are also exposed to the advertising when they go to watch their favourite sports teams. That is wholly unacceptable and indefensible.

I support the clause, although I think more could be done, but that will come up in our later conversations.