The UK government has released its Tobacco Control Plan for England this week. The Tobacco Control Plan’s objective is to reduce the use of tobacco and therefore reduce harm. The main points of the TCP are to reduce the number of underage smokers to 3% or less, reduce the amount of adult smokers to 12% or less and reduce the amount of pregnant smokers to 6% or less.
It’s all pretty straight forward, until we get to page 27, where the government clearly states that there will be a rethink towards current Tobacco and Related Product Regulations (TRPR), the new law which was brought into force based on the TPD regulations from the EU. Here’s a quick recap of what the document says in relation to the TRPR post-Brexit:
Over the course of this Tobacco Control Plan, the government will review where the UK’s exit from the EU offers us opportunities to re-appraise current regulation to ensure this continues to protect the nation’s health. We will look to identify where we can sensibly deregulate without harming public health or where EU regulations limit our ability to deal with tobacco.
In particular, the government will assess recent legislation such as the Tobacco Products Directive, including as it applies to e-cigarettes, and consider where the UK’s exit provides opportunity to alter the legislative provisions to provide for improved health outcomes within the UK context.
The government will continue to embrace developments that have the potential to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use and as such we will consider if the current regulatory framework strikes the right balance, and whether there is more we can do to help people to stop smoking.
We remain committed to a comprehensive and robust tobacco control strategy which protects the population of England.
At a national level the government will:
Review measures and activities which are affected by the UK’s exit from the EU, including the identification of de-regulatory measures that further health objectives.
It seems that the UK government recognises that some of the new restrictions imposed by the TPD regulations are unnecessary and are actually detrimental to their plan for reducing tobacco use. We look forward to seeing how this progresses once we exit the EU.