Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 - Motion to Regret

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:45 pm on 4th July 2016.

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Photo of Viscount Ridley Viscount Ridley Conservative 8:45 pm, 4th July 2016

My Lords, I will be extremely brief, because we need to press on to what the Minister will say. However, it is very important to point out that this is smack in the tradition of harm reduction, which was pioneered in this country with needle exchanges for HIV addicts. We did not go round saying, “That’s a bad policy because needles are dangerous things”. We said, “Let’s look at the relative risks”. We now know that there is a motorway out of smoking by vaping, and on the other carriageway there are virtually no cars at all. We have heard the data from my noble friend Lord Cathcart.

One final very quick suggestion is: if we want to get public information out there, why do we not insist that cigarette packets, which already carry a warning label, carry a label which says, “Have you tried vaping instead? There is very good evidence that it is much safer”? That would be factual and targeted at smokers. It would be beneficial, save lives and cost nothing.