Italian Ministry of Health evaluates future regulation for nicotine pouches

Health officials in Rome are considering regulation of nicotine pouches in Italy after they seized and banned the sale of a brand of such products following a Higher Health Institute (ISS) laboratory analysis.

According to some sources, the Ministry of Health and the Customs and Monopoly Agency (ADM) are evaluating possible regulation of such products, which are currently considered as consumer products.

During the 23rd National Congress on Smoking and the National Health Service organised by the ISS, Daniela Galeone, director of the Office of Health Promotion at the Ministry of Health, called for a revision of the so-called “Sirchia Law” (anti-smoking law) “by the end of the year” in order to extend rules to heated tobacco devices.

However, she did not mention if the new law should also establish rules for nicotine pouches.

The aim to consider further regulation of these devices comes after the Ministry of Health reported that it seized an undetermined number of nicotine pouches from Swedish Match brand ZYN and banned its sale following a laboratory analysis carried out by the CNSC (Centro Nazionale Sostanze Chimiche) of the ISS (Istituto Superiore di Sanità).

The Ministry of Health did not confirm further details about this as it is a case under investigation.

A spokesperson from the Swedish manufacturer told TobaccoIntelligence that the company does not currently sell nicotine pouches in Italy but would welcome an appropriate regulation based on the lower risks the product category has compared with traditional tobacco products.

 

What This Means: There is currently little clarity as to whether the government is intending to create a legal framework for nicotine pouches.

A possible new legal approach towards these products would contrast with the previously stated official opinion that pouches in Italy are banned unless they are registered as a pharmaceutical product.

Antonia di Lorenzo contributing writer

Photo: Christopher Czermak

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