From February of 2022, subscribers will be able to view and filter individual regulatory alerts per region. If you want to get our monthly compilations, visit our alerts Round-up section.
Vietnam: Tran Thi Trang, deputy director of the Ministry of Health legal department, today told a seminar organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications that the health ministry was opposed to any pilot programs for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, press reports. Instead, she proposed a ban on all such products on the grounds that they are harmful to health and attractive to children and adolescents.
Tajikistan: Deputy health minister Abdukholik Amirzoda told a parliamentary working group on the Law on Restricting the Use of Tobacco Products that a decree was issued in October banning the import, production and sale of smokeless tobacco and non-tobacco products (pouches), with the exception of nasvay, press reports. Nasvay is a moist, powdered tobacco dip produced and used mostly in central Asia. During the meeting a draft amendment to the tobacco law was reportedly presented, aiming to ban snus and nicotine pouches, and introduce a minimum retail price for tobacco products.
EAEU: Representatives of all five Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – attended a meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, to discuss the regulation of nicotine-containing products. Members said all such products were “harmful” and that in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations, heated tobacco products should be considered not as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) but as tobacco and “regulated as strictly as traditional tobacco products” as there was no evidence that they are any less harmful than cigarettes.
Malaysia: Caretaker minister of health Khairy Jamaluddin said today that if the National Front (Barisan Nasional) wins the upcoming general election, to be held on 19th November, and he is reappointed to the post, he will reintroduce the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022, popularly known as the Generational End Game Bill, press reports. He added that if the Alliance of Hope, currently the largest opposition group, wins the election, former health minister Dzulkefly Ahmad will also ensure that the bill is tabled. Dzulkefly was a member of the parliamentary committee reviewing the bill, which proposes a ban on the sale of tobacco products based on the potential purchaser’s birthdate. An analysis of the impact of the Malaysian elections on the sector is available in our Policy Radar.
Israel: With most votes counted after yesterday’s general election, the Likud party led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared set to unseat premier Yair Lapid and return Netanyahu to power. Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, which includes the Religious Zionist Party (RZP), the conservative United Torah Judaism (UTJ), and the religious Shas party, has a more negative approach to vaping and new tobacco products than the outgoing government, as shown by the policies implemented in its previous terms of office.
Vietnam: Members of the one-party National Assembly have expressed concern about a potential pilot project for the regulation of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, press reports. Pham Van Hoa, who sits on the Law Committee, said a pilot scheme was inappropriate before the products had been through an impact assessment.
Philippines: The Department of Trade and Industry is to hold a virtual public consultation on Friday, 28th October, on the draft implementing rules and regulations of the Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Act. The rules cover labelling, sale, advertising, sponsorship and purchase of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Malaysia: A parliamentary special select committee (PSSC) tabled a statement in parliament today on the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022, agreeing that the proposed Generational Endgame ban on the sale of tobacco products is constitutional, and that a separate regulation for non-combustible alternatives is not required. Among proposed amendments, the PSSC has agreed to drop the provision banning the possession of vaping products. The likelihood of the bill passing remains unclear, due to reported speculation that Parliament will be dissolved soon to make way for general elections.
India: The Delhi High Court has annulled a set of notifications issued by the Delhi Commissioner of Food Safety from 2015 to 2021 banning the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of gutka, pan masala, flavoured tobacco, kharra and similar products in the state on the grounds that the commissioner had exceeded his powers. The court said it “agrees that tobacco and nicotine are injurious to health”, but added: “It has never been the intention of the Parliament to impose an absolute ban on manufacture, sale, distribution and storage of tobacco and/or tobacco products. The intention of the Parliament is to regulate the trade and commerce of tobacco and tobacco products.”
South Korea: The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency today warned of an increasingly widespread use by young people of flavoured tobacco products, which it says are a gateway to smoking. The agency refers to a study showing a 12% increase between 2016 and 2022 in the use of flavoured tobacco products by smokers aged 13-39.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has said he expects to finalise the review of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill 2022 next week with the parliamentary special select committee in order to table it again in the upcoming parliamentary session, which starts on 3rd October, press reports. Khairy said MPs were generally in favour of the bill, which proposes a ban on tobacco products for those born on or after 1st January 2007, and that most of the issues raised during the bill’s first reading had been resolved by the committee.
Kazakhstan: A small group of deputies has proposed a reduction in the excise tax rates on heated tobacco products, media reports. However, deputy economy minister Azamat Amrin and health ministry representative Gulnara Sarsenbayeva are both reportedly opposed to the proposal.
Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU): Following a decision by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission, up to 200 heated tobacco consumables can be imported duty-free into the EAEU – the economic union of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – for personal use. This will apply from 8th October to over-21s entering Kazakhstan and to over-18s in the other EAEU member states.
China (Macau): The Macau Legislative Assembly has unanimously approved a government amendment to the New Tobacco Control Law, which prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution and transport of oral tobacco and heated tobacco. Until now, both wholesale and retail have been prohibited in Macau, a special administrative region.
Vietnam: The Ministry of Science and Technology has issued seven National Standards on Tobacco. They apply, among other things, to filtered and unfiltered combustible cigarettes and raw tobacco. Although heated tobacco is currently banned in Vietnam, these standards might be applied or serve as a reference for the regulation of heat-not-burn (HnB) products should they ever be allowed. Members of the single-party National Assembly have recently criticised what they regard as the loose management of novel tobacco products.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has told reporters that the details of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill are to be discussed this week by a bipartisan special select committee, which he will chair. Jamaluddin has already accepted recommendations by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Women, Children and Social Development, including dropping punishment for possession of tobacco products by anyone born after 2007, although their use will remain punishable. The bill has sparked heated debate among MPs and others, despite reported calls by the King of Malaysia to support it.
Philippines: The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is finalising the draft implementing RA 11900, further regulating vaping and heated tobacco products, media reports. The DTI, which is to set technical standards for product safety, consistency and quality, will start a consultation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and proceed with a public consultation with industry, retailers and users.
Philippines: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has published the full text of Republic Act 11900, which will regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution and use of novel tobacco products, including heated tobacco. The act will come into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two general circulation newspapers, which to the best of our knowledge has not yet happened.
Pakistan: The Pakistan National Heart Association (PANAH) is urging the government to ban nicotine pouches, press reports. One of the country’s leading health bodies, PANAH, whose patron in chief is the president of Pakistan, has asked the government to withdraw the Velo brand from the market, arguing that nicotine pouches can increase blood pressure and can lead to heart disease, stroke, and oral cancer. The association also claims the British American Tobacco (BAT)-owned brand is being targeted at young people.
Saudi Arabia: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has told TobaccoIntelligence it is not considering lifting the ban on oral tobacco and snus, being committed to circular No. (122/p) dated 1/1/1440 H banning the sale and circulation of oral tobacco.
Uzbekistan: Parliament was today due to consider the Conciliation Commission’s suggestions on a bill to restrict the distribution and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, media reports. The Senate rejected the bill in June, calling for clarification and amendments, after it was approved by the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, at the end of 2021. The bill aims to amend current tobacco legislation to cover novel products and to ban sales to under-21s.
Saudi Arabia: The Riyadh Municipality has tweeted about “the most prominent violations” by hospitality premises serving tobacco products, including heated tobacco. They include offering tobacco products without a permit, failure to disclose monthly sales, failure to specify a “tobacco product serving fee” and adding it as a separate item on the customer’s invoice. The authoritiy points out that all these violations are subject to the penalties stipulated in the 2019 Anti-Smoking Law.
Kyrgyzstan: The Ministry of Economy and Finance has put forward for public discussion a draft resolution on minimum retail prices for tobacco and nicotine-containing products, media reports. It suggests the price for a pack of heated tobacco consumables should be at least KGS110 ($1.33) in 2023, then rising gradually until 2026.
Indonesia: Government officials and stakeholders met yesterday to discuss revising the tobacco framework, Government Regulation 109 of 2012, press reports. Deputy health minister of Health Dante Saksono said several ministries were working on it, although a formal initiative sent by the Ministry of Health to the president was rejected in January. The revision seeks to tighten tobacco advertising and to increase the size of pictorial health warnings on packaging.
Malaysia: The Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee on Health, Science and Innovation has recommended that the proposed generational ban on purchase of tobacco products should be delayed for three years, and that it should start with those born after 2008, rather than 2007, press reports. The committee wants a three-year evaluation period to assess the government’s preparedness to implement the ban and to assess the need for separate regulation of smokeless products, such as heated and oral tobacco, which it said have “harm reduction” characteristics compared to combustible tobacco.