Mary Kelly Foy MP welcomed a Government U-turn to consult on new laws to combat children vaping and smoking, after the same measures proposed by her just two years ago were voted down by the Governments own MPs.
Mary reacted stating ““It’s incredible that almost two years after the Government rejected similar proposals, they are now consulting to do the same. These were common-sense proposals and enjoyed cross party support and the backing of health campaigners- but the Tories voted them down. It’s clear they put party politics before public health.”
At health and Social Care Questions The Labour MP asked “In 2021, the Government voted down my amendments to the Health and Care Bill to tackle smoking and youth vaping. England is now set to miss the smokefree 2030 target by at least 7 years and countless children will have become addicted to vapes.
I welcome the U-turn but what steps is the minister taking to make up for this lost time?”
Consequently, Mary has branded new Government proposals to cut smoking and stamp out children vaping as “unnecessary dither and delay” and as evidence of putting “politics before public health”, as the UK looks set to miss the Governments target date to stamp out smoking.
Mary, who is Vice-Chair of the Smoking and Health All-Party Parliamentary Group, has been quick to point out that these measures mirror similar proposals the Government whipped Conservative MPs to vote against when presented as amendments by her to the Health and Care Bill Committee in 2021.
While serving as a member of the Health and Social Care Bill Committee, Mary presented amendments to the bill to:
1. Prohibit tactics such as branding and sweet flavourings to market vapes to children
2. Close a legal loophole which permits the free distribution of e-cigarettes to children for marketing purposes.
3. Allow the Government to raise a levy on tobacco companies’ profits to fund stop smoking activities.
4. Allow the Secretary of State to increase graphic anti-smoking messaging on cigarettes and require inserts containing health information and links to smoking cessation services.