Writing to your MP
Writing to politicians is a great way to raise awareness of vaping-related issues in your local area. It’s quick and easy, plus helps your MP to represent you in Parliament.
What can my MP do?
MPs represent their local area and it is their job to raise concerns of their constituents in Parliament. MPs can perform a variety of functions to influence legislation in Westminster. They can:
- Vote on issues in Parliament.
- Write to and meet Government ministers.
- Ask questions in Parliament (‘Parliamentary Questions’ or PQs) about issues you raise.
- Ask for a debate in Parliament.
Who is my MP?
How do I contact my MP?
MPs have two offices, one in their constituency and one in Parliament. You can contact them at either office by telephone, letter or email. Your MP’s constituency office address and phone number should be available via the same link used to find your MP.
What to Include?
What you include in your letter or email is up to you and depends on you own personal priorities. Nevertheless, the UKVIA recommends that it members push the following asks when interacting with parliamentarians:
- Encourage vaping as an effective means of smoking cessation and reducing inequalities.
- Speak up for the facts on vaping and tackle misinformation.
- Support UVKIA calls for an evidence based regulatory review.
- Table Parliamentary Written Questions, debates, and meet with Ministers to ensure Government appreciates the value of vaping in smoke-free ambitions.
Additionally, you may also wish to encourage your MP to support some of the UKVIA’s recommendations to the UK Government, which are:
- Introduce a system of registration or approved retailer and distributor scheme whereby all resellers – vape retailers (both online and in-store), wholesalers and distributors would adhere to strong age verification practices; they would also commit that products they sell are both notified with the MHRA and compliant with CLP classifications.
- Serve significantly increased penalties of up to £10,000 per instance for traders flouting UK law. Should two fines be issued, a retailer would lose its ‘approved retailer’ status.
- Commission a national test purchasing scheme to ensure all operations are performing to high standards when it comes to preventing underage and illicit product sales.
- Ensure Trading Standards is effectively resourced, such that it can recruit and train officers, dispose of illicit products, and ensure its actions are an effective deterrent to rogue actors across the supply chain. Such funding would be sourced from the proposed retail fines as well as potentially the retailer registration scheme. Adopt into legislation the UKVIA’s packaging, labelling and flavour names guidelines to prevent branding that inadvertently appeals to non-smokers or under-18s. These guidelines reflect recommendations from the Khan Review.
- Introduce non-nicotine containing e-liquids to the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations (TRPR). Regulating all e-liquids in this way will further bear down on youth access and improve the quality of products offered for sale. The UKVIA is clear that should non-nicotine containing e-liquids be brought under the scope of the TRPR, these products should not be subject to the existing limitations in bottle size as those which do contain nicotine, thus helping to reduce waste and minimise the impact of vaping products on the environment. The UKVIA further recommends that the scope of The Nicotine Inhaling Products (Age of Sale and Proxy Purchasing) Regulations 2015 and the TRPR are extended to cover non-nicotine containing products. Additionally, non-nicotine containing products need to be scrutinised by the same MHRA notification process and all e-cigarettes ought to be subject to age restrictions.
- Ensure packaging is taken into account when registering new products on the MHRA product notification portal. This is to ensure e-cigarette packaging does not appeal to under-18s and adheres to the UKVIA’s E-liquid (nicotine and non-nicotine containing) packaging, labelling and flavour name guidelines.