UKVIA Survey Shows No Faith In UK Government For Smokefree Britain

Press Release

Tuesday July 2, 2024

UKVIA poll shows little confidence that politicians can deliver a smokefree Britain

Director General of the UK’s biggest vape trade body says findings are ‘deeply disappointing’.

There is very little faith that the big three political parties can secure a smokefree Britain, according to a poll carried out by the UK Vaping Industry Association.

Of the 100+ respondents – which included vapers, former smokers, policy experts and representatives of the vape and retail sectors – just 10% said they trusted Labour to eradicate the health harms of smoking, 9% put their faith in the Liberal Democrats and just 1% believed Conservatives were up to the challenge.

An overwhelming 80% of those who responded to the poll on social media sites X and LinkedIn said they didn’t trust any of the big three political parties to lead Britain into a smokefree future.

As the UK goes to the polls on Thursday, in what is being billed as one of the most significant elections in recent history, this poll suggests that the public does not have confidence that that they will be well-served, whatever the outcome.

UKVIA Director General John Dunne said:

“It is deeply disappointing that this survey shows that there is so little faith in any of the main three parties to deliver a smokefree future and this should serve as a huge wake-up call to whoever gets the keys to Number 10 after the election.

“The general election halted the massively flawed Tobacco and Vapes Bill, a Rishi Sunak vanity project which was rushed through parliament with very little scrutiny before the general election stopped it in its tracks. The incoming administration has the opportunity to correct this and take the time to give it the proper and balanced scrutiny it deserves.

“We already know that England’s 2030 smokefree ambitions are in tatters, with Cancer Research UK estimating they won’t be achieved nationally until at least 2039, with some of the most deprived regions not expected to become smokefree until 2050 or beyond.

“Our politicians have let us down in this hugely important area which is vital to public health outcomes where literally millions of lives are at risk. The UKVIA is determined to help improve the lives of adult smokers and we want to work with the incoming government in any way possible on this important issue.”

The UKVIA supports balanced regulatory reform which ensures that adult smokers continue to have full access to the products they need to quit cigarettes while also addressing youth uptake and the environment.

The vape trade association wants to see the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency given the power to examine product packaging and imagery during the approvals process because cartoon characters and child-friendly designs have no role to play in the vaping industry.

The legitimate vape sector – led by the UKVIA – has long been calling for greater enforcement and stronger action against the unscrupulous sellers who put consumers, young people and the industry at risk by blatantly flouting the law.

To that end, the industry developed a first-of-its-kind vape retail and distributor licensing framework which would generate upwards of £50 million in annual self-sustaining funding, at no additional cost to the taxpayer. This money would be used to support under-resourced Trading Standards and fuel a proactive national programme of enforcement.

John added:

“Enforcement only works when backed up by sanctions which deter law breaking, which is why the UKVIA wants to see fines of up to £10,000 per instance for these offences. No one will risk selling a vape to children if they risk losing their licence and are hit with a five figure fine.”