Clause 59 - Flavour of tobacco products

Part of Tobacco and Vapes Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 14 May 2024.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 10:15, 14 May 2024

I will share my thinking, because this is important. We are all on the same side where the Bill is concerned, and I say very genuinely to hon. Members that there is an important debate about flavours. The hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston says that we should scrap menthol, but the problem is that if we scrap menthol it will be reimagined as “raspberry mint crush”—it will still be menthol, but simply reimagined. That is the perfect example of how people can get round the legislation by calling it something else—something even more appealing to children.

The idea of tackling the issue in secondary legislation is to ensure that we stay ahead of the industry at all times. I understand the desire to put things in the Bill, but I hope all hon. Members recognise that there are also weaknesses associated with something which, if we are to change it, requires primary legislation to do so.