The Director General of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has addressed parliamentarians on the future of vaping and harm reduction. John Dunne was invited as an expert witness by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Vaping, a collection of MPs and Peers focused on e-cigarettes.
Dunne’s evidence will be used to advise the UK delegation to a high-level World Health Organisation meeting later this year: Conference of the Parties (COP9). The meeting will have repercussions for vaping industries around the world, and it is hoped the UK’s progressive approach can inspire similar stances internationally.
At Tuesday’s evidence session, conducted remotely to be Covid secure, Dunne told parliamentarians:
“The UK has a huge duty of care to take a positive stance and challenge interpretations… Britain’s newly independent status really gives us an opportunity to lead this on the world stage.”
Also present at the meeting was Professor Gerry Stimson of Knowledge-Action-Change (KAC), Clive Bates of Counterfactual, and Daniel Pryor of the Adam Smith Institute.
The Parliamentary group, chaired by Mark Pawsey MP, is keen for the UK to defend its vaping position internationally, and to promote the many successes of British vaping. The expert witnesses highlighted the considerable public health benefits of harm reduction tools, and the potential benefit they could provide around the world.
Tuesday’s evidence session came as the UK Government continues its own review of tobacco regulations, meaning a busy time for advocates hoping to protect the public potential of vaping.
Reacting to a very positive session with the parliamentarians, Dunne said:
“I was happy to accept the invitation from the APPG, because the UKVIA believe we have an incredible opportunity to spread the word – that innovative, appropriately-regulated vaping industries save lives. Post-Brexit Britain is newly independent in forums like COP9, and it means we can drive this positive message home like never before.
We can be rightly proud of the UK’s record on harm reduction, but we must not be complacent. Regressive, prohibition-style strategies are alive and well internationally, and we must not let them undo all that has been achieved here. A robust, evidence-based approach from the UK can defend the gains we have made domestically, empower positive change internationally and confirm Britain’s role as a world leader in harm reduction.”