Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 - Motion to Regret

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:00 pm on 4th July 2016.

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Photo of Baroness O'Cathain Baroness O'Cathain Conservative 8:00 pm, 4th July 2016

My Lords, this has been a very interesting debate so far; it has been good-humoured and full of humour. I was glad to hear the noble Lord, Lord Campbell-Savours, and the noble Baroness, Lady Hollins, talk about the seriousness of this situation.

I and at least two other people whom I see in the Chamber at the moment fought like tigers to make sure that smoking was banned in public places. We did it because all the evidence suggested that it was a terrible scourge on people who were addicted to tobacco and smoking and just could not break the link. From a personal point of view, I come from a family of five, of whom four died prematurely from either smoking or the effects of tobacco. I know of friends who have similarly died and those have not been very pleasant deaths either. I am not saying that vaping will cause that problem, but why do we need it? They say, “Okay, it’s part of a smoking cessation thing”. I really do not believe it; I think that e-cigarettes should be banned totally and more money put into helping smoking cessation programmes. Such programmes have worked, so why not carry on with them?

I should not say this, but I am going to: nobody knows just how manipulative the tobacco industry was during the period when we were fighting it. It was quite disgraceful—I see my fellow in arms, the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, looking at me and agreeing. I am concerned that, with our having gone through all this and now reducing the amount of money spent on smoking cessation programmes, we will find in another 20 or 30 years—well, I will not be around—that we are doing it all again and people will be smoking. So I just say: please take care.