I ecognise that e-cigarettes help some smokers to quit. Evidence indicates that they are considerably less harmful to health than cigarettes. At the same time, it is essential that we do not encourage smoking and continue to protect children from the effects of nicotine.
The rules set out in the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which came in to force on 20th May, cover tobacco and smokeless tobacco products, herbal products and will, for the first time, regulate e-cigarettes. The Government consulted on how to implement them, and Ministers understand that e-cigarettes are helpful to some people wishing to quit smoking. However, the quality of products on the market remains highly variable. It was therefore important that proportionate regulation was introduced to ensure minimum safety requirements and that information is provided to consumers so that they can make informed choices. This is the aim of the regulatory framework set out in the TPD.
In implementing the new rules, the Government will work towards regulation that will permit a range of products to remain on the market which are positioned as alternatives to smoking, not as products that introduce children to vaping or smoking. E-cigarettes that are licenced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency can still be advertised, but the advertising of all other e-cigarettes is no longer permitted on television.
The new rules in the revised TPD do not aim to prevent people from using e-cigarettes, but rather to provide consumers with safer, less variable products.