Derek Vaughan MEP

Working hard for Wales in Europe

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E-cigarettes vote statement

I support the revision of the tobacco products directive, which aims to reduce the number of people who smoke.

In Wales, 22.6% of the population smoke and there are over 11,000 new childhood smokers per year. Placing large picture warnings on the front and back of packs is vital if we are to dissuade people from smoking. I also support a ban on flavourings, including menthols, and also "slims" which are mainly targeted at young people.

Ensuring the safety of electronic cigarettes (the same as nicotine gums and patches) is important. E-cigs are relatively new on the market, and we need to make sure that what consumers are using is effective, reliable and safe. This position is supported by UK Government, major cancer charities and the Royal College of Physicians. We also need to be clear that regulating these products does not amount to a ban and that, in the UK, e-cigs could continue to be sold in normal shops, specialist shops and online shops. Also the proposals will reduce the VAT on e-cigs to 5%. E-cigs do have the potential to help people quit smoking and that's why we need to be sure that products on the market are tested and work for consumers.

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