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A Letter to the Department of Health and Social Care – Keeping Young People Safe

We went to Parliament to deliver a letter to the Department of Health and Social Care on behalf of the 80,000 smokers who die each year.

We’re asking for sensible regulation around nicotine pouches and their inclusions in current smoking cessation programs to help the UK achieve its smoke free target by 2030.

Below is the letter we’ve delivered to Neil O’Brien MP (Minister for Primary Care and Public Health) – Department of Health & Social Care:


Neil O’Brien MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
neil.obrien.mp@parliament.uk

Dear Neil O’Brien MP (Minister for Primary Care and Public Health),

I am writing to discuss an important matter concerning public health and the well-being of young individuals in the United Kingdom. I kindly request the British Government to regulate the sale and distribution of nicotine pouches, ensuring that they are not accessible to individuals under the age of 18. Additionally, I encourage you to consider the potential of nicotine pouches as a valuable tool in smoking cessation programs, which could significantly contribute to reducing the smoking rate in the UK and minimising associated harms.

The emergence of new reduced risk nicotine products, including nicotine pouches, presents an amazing opportunity to reduce smoking rates in the UK and the subsequent harms. Nicotine pouches show great promise as a potential harm reduction tool for those who currently smoke or might choose to do so in the future. It is therefore essential to ensure their responsible use and availability to the appropriate age groups.

We therefore urge the British Government to introduce legislation that establishes a legal age of purchase for nicotine pouches at 18 years or older. This step would align with existing regulations governing tobacco and other nicotine-containing products, promoting consistency in our efforts to make sure these products are only for adults.

Furthermore, I would encourage your department to integrate nicotine pouches into smoking cessation centres throughout the UK. These centres play a role in assisting individuals in their journey to quit smoking and embrace healthier lifestyles. By incorporating nicotine pouches into existing smoking cessation programs, we can offer an additional tool that may prove effective for some individuals seeking to overcome their addiction. This approach would complement the range of evidence-based cessation methods already in place such as vaping, promoting individual choice and diversifying the options available to those on their path to a smoke-free life.

In conclusion, regulating the sale of nicotine pouches to prevent access by individuals under the age of 18 and integrating them into smoking cessation centres will significantly contribute to reducing the smoking rate in the UK and associated harms. We urge the British Government to take prompt action in this matter, prioritising the health for those who wish to enjoy nicotine.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter. I trust that you will give due consideration to the importance of responsible regulation and integration of nicotine pouches, ensuring their appropriate use while promoting public health goals. I would greatly appreciate receiving a response outlining the government’s stance and intended actions concerning this important issue.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Crosby
Considerate Pouchers UK
consideratepouchers.org


On the 3rd of August we recieved a response from Rachael Gingell (Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries) of the Department of Health and Social Care with Neil O’Brien’s reply.

We’ll be writing our thoughts on his reply shortly and keeping you updated as to the progress of our campaign. It was recently highlighted in a Planet of the Vapes article and we hope to continue to push the message for safe access to nicotine pouches.

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