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29th March 2023
Belgium: Health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has banned the sale of nicotine pouches, and cannabinoid-containing pouches, through a royal decree which will come into force on 1st July (or 1st October for retailers). Vandenbroucke announced in January his intention to ban the pouches after the Belgian government notified a proposal to that effect to the TRIS database in June 2022. That proposal received negative opinions from Croatia, Hungary and Sweden, while the European Commission made no comment.
26th January 2023
15th December 2022
Belgium: The 2022-2028 Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Generation has been agreed by a joint group of federal and regional health ministers. The plan sets several objectives, including banning nicotine pouches and cannabinoid-containing pouches; reducing the price differential between different tobacco products; improving health promotion; banning vending-machine sales; tighter restrictions on long-distance sales and advertising; and keeping the tobacco industry out of the preparation and implementation of public health policy.
22nd November 2022
Belgium: The Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has told TobaccoIntelligence that the draft 2022-2028 Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Generation will be voted on on 14th December by an interministerial conference on public health made up of federal and regional ministers. The plan sets several objectives, including reducing the price gap between different tobacco products; keeping the tobacco industry out of the preparation and implementation of public health policies; improving health promotion policies; a ban on vending machine sales; tighter restrictions on long-distance sales and advertising; and improving the make-up of tobacco products.
20th October 2022
Belgium: Health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has proposed a ban on tobacco vending machines in bars, restaurants and catering facilities, allowing them only in supermarkets. The ban would include vaping products and nicotine pouches as well as conventional tobacco products. The bill is moving forward and has been voted on at its first reading.
11th October 2022
Belgium: The government was today presenting its 2023 Budget, which was expected to include further increases in excise duty on tobacco products over the next two years and a vapour products tax to start in 2024, media reports.
22nd September 2022
Belgium: The standstill period to submit comments on a proposal to ban nicotine pouches and cannabinoid-containing pouches, which was due to end on 16th September, has been extended until 16th December following comments by Croatia and Sweden and a detailed opinion by Hungary. The proposal was notified to the EU TRIS Database by the Belgian government in June. The stated aim of the ban is to prevent both known and potential adverse health effects of using these new products, to discourage their use by young people, and to avoid any damage to anti-tobacco efforts.
28th June 2022
Belgium: The government has notified fellow EU member states through the TRIS Database of a bill to ban nicotine pouches and cannabinoid-containing pouches. It says the aim of the ban is to prevent both known and potential adverse health effects of the products, discourage their use by young people and avoid possible negative effects on anti-tobacco efforts. The standstill period to submit comments will end on 16th September.
9th May 2022
21st April 2022
Belgium: Four large tobacco companies have been fined a total of almost €36m after the Belgian Competition Authority finally delivered a decision on a case dating back more than seven years. The four companies were accused of colluding on prices, between 2011 and 2015, avoiding the normal risks of competition. British American Tobacco (BAT) Belgium was fined €5.7m, Etablissements L. Lacroix Fils must pay €7m, while JT International and Philip Morris Benelux were fined €7.2m and €16m respectively.
28th March 2022
Belgium: The Federal Public Health Service (FPS) for Health, Food Chain Safety and the Environment has told TobaccoIntelligence that the draft 2022-2028 Interfederal Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Generation presented last week at the Interministerial Conference on Public Health (CIM Santé) will be supplemented by a series of operational objectives and the goal is to have a complete strategy adopted in autumn.
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