All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for E-Cigarettes

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Background

In November 2014 the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for E-Cigarettes was set up.[1] This Group is not related to the APPG on Smoking and Health, which was founded in 1976.[2]

The APPG for E-Cigarettes was set up by Mark Pawsey, Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Rugby, who intended the APPG to “examine and scrutinise this rapidly growing [e-cigarette] industry exploring the benefits the devices could have for people looking to quit smoking”.[1] Pawsey added:

“I believe that stricter regulation is required to ensure that all e-cigarette devices, products and liquids are safe but I do not support regulating the industry out of existence. In the last year many of my constituents have contacted me to say that without e-cigarettes they would not have been able to give up smoking so I think more work must be done in order to establish what role they can play in helping more people quit using tobacco.”

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Screengrab of UKVIA’s website, accessed October 2017, showing tobacco industry members

Tobacco Companies Involved in APPG’s Secretariat

As of 2 May 2017, the APPG’s Secretariat was the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVAI).[3] At this time UKVAI’s membership consisted of small independent e-cigarette manufactures and four tobacco manufacturers: Japan Tobacco International (JTI), Fontem Ventures which is subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco (BAT), and Philip Morris International (PMI) (see image 1).[4]

For more information on tobacco industry interests in e-cigarettes, visit the following pages:

Previously, the APPG’s secretariat was run by London-based public affairs consultancy Abzed, who was paid by the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA) and tobacco company JTI to act as the Group’s secretariat.[5]

Members Took Hospitality from Japan Tobacco International

Three members of the APPG have a history of accepting tobacco industry hospitality.

A news report in December 2015 revealed that Pawsey, Chairman of the APPG, had attended a Rugby World Cup 2015 match in September, courtesy of JTI UK (owner of e-cigarette brand E-lites). A few months later the MP had praised e-cigarettes during question time in UK Parliament.[6] Whilst JTI’s hospitality, worth £1,650, was declared in the Register of Member’s Interests[7], it was not declared to the House of Commons ahead of Pawsey’s pro-e-cigarette comments.[6]

Glyn Davies MP, prior to his membership of the APPG, accepted Chelsea Flower show tickets worth £1,404 from JTI in May 2014.[8]

Stephen Metcalfe MP, in 2017 the APPG’s Treasurer, took hospitality from JTI in 2011. He too accepted tickets and hospitality to the Chelsea Flower show, at the time worth £1,132.80.[9]

Our page on Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians lists other MPs and peers who have taken gifts and hospitality provided by tobacco companies.

Members Voted Against UK Tobacco Control Legislation

Pawsey, Davies and Metcalfe voted against the introduction of tobacco plain packaging in 2015.[10]

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 M. Pawsey, Mark sets up new group in Parliament to support e-cigarette users, 28 November 2014, accessed October 2017
  2. Action on Smoking and Health, All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking & Health, undated, accessed October 2017
  3. Register of All-Party Parliamentary Groups (as at 28 September 2017): E-Cigarettes, UK Parliament website, 28 September 2017, accessed October 2017
  4. UK Vaping Industry Association, Our members, undated, accessed October 2017
  5. Register of All Party Groups (as at 30 March 2015): E Cigarettes, archived UK Parliament website, 30 March 2015, accessed October 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 M. Smith, Tory MP heaps praise on e-cigarettes after vaping firm treats him to £1,600 trip to Rugby World Cup, the Mirror, 16 December 2015, accessed October 2017
  7. M. Pawsey, Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK Sources, House of Commons Register of Members’ Financial Interests, 14 October 2015, accessed October 2017
  8. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 9 February 2015 report, 9 February 2015, accessed October 2017
  9. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members' Financial Interests - 13 December 2011 report, 13 December 2011, accessed October 2017
  10. The Public Whip, Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015- 11 Mar 2015 at 17:53, undated, accessed October 2017