Tuesday 14 May 2024

Could the Tobacco and Vapes Bill be any worse? MPs hope so.

No matter how bad things get in neo-puritan Britain, they can always get worse.
The Labour MP Rachael Maskell has put forward an amendment to the Tobacco and Vapes Bill to extend Sunak's prohibition to all nicotine products, including vapes and pouches. The only difference is that the ban on tobacco sales will be for those born after 2008 whereas the ban on nicotine will be for those born after 2014.

To move the following Clause—

“Sale of vaping products and nicotine products

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations prevent the sale of to anyone born
after 1 January 2015—

(a) vaping products; or
(b) nicotine products.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) must specify an exemption for products prescribed by a clinician

(3) Regulations under this section:
(a) shall be made by statutory instrument; and
(b) may not be made unless a draft has been laid and approved by
resolution of both Houses of Parliament.

(4) Prior to making any regulations under subsection (1), and within 12 months of this Act coming into force, the Secretary of State must commission an independent evaluation of the health impacts of the matters under subsection (1) and must lay the report of the evaluation before Parliament.”

Member's explanatory statement:

This new clause would allow the Secretary of State, by regulations, to prevent the sale of vaping and nicotine products to anyone born after 1 January 2015 after having laid before Parliament an independent evaluation report on the health impact of doing so.

The final destination is the total prohibition of nicotine. In the long run, the aim is to make it a controlled substance and fully drag nicotine into the war on drugs. There is no ethical or health justification for this, but Sunak has given them more than an inch so they are taking more than a mile.

I don't know what chance this amendment has of passing, but it raises the question of what Labour will do when in power to prove that they are even more prohibitionist than the Conservative Party. The answer will certainly not be nothing.

Even Jacinda Ardern's legislation (now repealed) only included cigarettes. Cigars, hookah, snuff, heated tobacco, rolling papers, etc. were all exempt. Sunak has already gone much further than the New Zealand Labour Party. 

The full list of amendments is here (Maskell has put her name to 25 of them). They are mostly uber-prohibitionist, gathering up the loose ends of various ASH demands over the years, such as banning what's left of e-cig advertising, putting health warnings on cigarette papers, introducing a tobacco levy, etc. There is also an amendment (N14) signed by 11 MPs to ban vaping everywhere smoking is banned. Why? Because they can.

It's sickening.

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