E-cigarettes — [Sir Henry Bellingham in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:07 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford 2:07 pm, 31st October 2019

I totally agree. I take the view that if adults want to smoke, knowing the risks, that is up to them. However, there is a duty of care on the Government to ensure that tobacco products are not consumed by children. That is absolutely clear, and it is right that we keep the age at which people can start vaping at 18; we do not want vaping products targeted at children. In my experience, no responsible vaping company would do that or has done that.

The Government approach is sensible. I believe that they can embrace the potential of vaping to save lives. There are so many measures that could be taken—through the taxation system, through advertising, through education, and by making people aware of these products and making them more accessible to smokers.

We must recognise that for the first time in my life, there is something that genuinely can help people to get off tobacco—something effective that works. If we look at a graph of the number of people smoking and a graph of the number of vapers in this country, we can see a direct correlation: the more people vape, the fewer people smoke. We need to highlight that and celebrate it, and the Government should take that forward.