Wednesday 1 May 2024

Tobacco and Vapes Bill committee: day one

The farcical committee on the Tobacco and Vapes Bill has concluded its pointless proceedings, with its cherry-picked MPs and guests. The transcript of the first day's hearing has been published. I couldn't read it all because it made me bilious - the MPs seemed mainly interested in banning e-cigarettes next - but it was very much as expected. Here's a flavour of it... 

Deborah Arnott (ASH): "I have been around for a lot of tobacco legislation, and it is really impressive to see where successive Governments have brought us."

Sheila Duffy (ASH Scotland): "We very much welcome this proposed legislation"

Charmaine Griffiths (chief executive of the British Heart Foundation): "We, as the BHF, would urge for the Bill to be pushed through in full."

Sarah Sleet (chief executive officer of Asthma and Lung UK): "Asthma and Lung UK very much support this bill".

Patrick Roach (general secretary of the NASUWT): "We believe that this is a strong Bill"

Paul Farmer (chief executive of Age UK): "Age UK fully supports the proposed legislation".

Greg Fell (moron): "...all DPH strongly support the Bill—I have yet to find a public health professional who does not, as I do not think that one exists" 

David Fothergill (Local Government Association): "On the whole, we are supportive of the Bill, and that will be the thrust of the evidence I give... we fully support the Bill".

Ailsa Rutter (FRESH): "I am absolutely privileged to be here with you this afternoon, speaking on behalf of the north-east and the many partners in the region who will give you their overwhelming support for this absolutely crucial, complete once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have the single biggest impact in addressing the biggest cause of cancer."

Adrian Simpson (British Retail Consortium): "Yes, the large retail sector, which we represent, is broadly in favour of the Bill... but we feel that, for all this to be successful, there needs to be strong and robust enforcement behind it all."

John Herriman (Trading Standards Institute): "One of the things that I think is really good about the Bill, and the work that DHSC and other Departments have been doing, is the taking of a strategic view.... We have not seen this level of strategic approach to resourcing and tackling a problem in many other areas, so it is quite welcome."

Laura Young (random PhD student): "I very much welcome this Bill and support a lot of what has been said, but I also think there is room for taking more action".

It's a bit of an amen corner, isn't? Still, I'm sure it doesn't matter. After all, it's only prohibition that's being proposed - a policy that has always worked in the past and has never had any negative side effects - so there's no need for any scrutiny or serious thought. It'll be fine!


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