The British government may revisit vape regulations when the UK exits the EU in March.
The Department of Health and Social Care issued its formal response to the House of Commons Science and Technology report this week.
The report, which called on MPs to further endorse vaping to increase levels of smoking cessation in the UK, was published in August following an in-depth cross-party evidence review which began in 2017.
Tax, mental health, tank sizes, streamlining systems for approving stop smoking therapies and implementing the government’s Tobacco Control Plan all featured in the report.
The government has reaffirmed that the UK will continue to comply with the TPD while it remains in the EU, however it has left room for readjusting regulations post-Brexit.
It was previously said the UK would not overturn the TPD after exiting the EU.
The Department of Health and Social Care said:
“The Government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re‑appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health.
The Government will explore those areas identified by the Committee, such as the 20mg/ml maximum nicotine refill limit, a size restriction of 2ml on the tank, a block on advertising e-cigarettes’ relative harm-reduction potential and the notification scheme for e-cigarette ingredients.”
Smoking causes over 78,000 deaths a year and is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in England. Responding to the report, the command paper shows the department of health and social care recognises vaping may help alleviate financial strains on public services.
“The financial burden that this puts on the National Health Service (NHS) in England, and other public services is huge, but the costs go far beyond the financial: a regular, long-term smoker loses an average of 10 years of their life due to their habit.
Great progress has been made over the past decade in reducing adult smoking prevalence to 14.9%, the lowest rate on record, although there remain considerable inequalities: some poorer communities remain blighted by tobacco.”