Yesterday, the Parliament website published the text of the Electronic Cigarettes (Regulation) Bill, which is scheduled to be debated this Friday 16th March. Much has been said overnight about this bill, and whilst it is an important step in the right direction, it is important that independent vape companies and vapers know what is likely to happen with this bill.
This bill is being tabled by Sir Christopher Chope MP, and is a Private Members’ Bill. Private Members’ Bills are introduced by MPs who are not representatives of the Government, and are often an opportunity to discuss an area of policy which has not received much attention within the House of Commons. Private Members’ Bills often do not receive very much time to be debated, and therefore it is very difficult for them to pass without Government support. Indeed, only a small handful of Private Members’ Bills have become law, it is rare that even one is passed per parliamentary session.
MPs therefore do not usually draft Private Members’ Bills in an attempt at changing legislation, but in order to spur a debate on a topic which they are interested in. Unfortunately, because of the limited time available for debating these types of bills it is possible that it will not even have the opportunity to be debated on Friday, but if it does then we are confident that concerns raised by the independent industry will be addressed during the debate.
The IBVTA continues to press for a proportionate regulatory regime through all available channels. As you may have seen earlier this week, representatives from the IBVTA met with the Public Health Minister Steve Brine MP to discuss vaping and the independent industry. We continue to engage with politicians, locally, nationally and at EU level, in order for the independent vape industry’s concerns to be heard.
In summary, we do not expect for this bill to be passed, it is nevertheless an important step forward and another indication that politicians are taking vaping and the contribution and concerns of IBVTA members’ businesses seriously.