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Czech Republic: The government has rejected recent parliamentary proposals to ban the sale of nicotine pouches to under-18s and to introduce public place usage and advertising restrictions, media reports. The Ministry of Health is currently preparing regulation for nicotine pouches and the government believes it is better to cover the issue comprehensively rather than through a number of individual bills.
US - federal: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Robert Califf has ordered an external review of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), citing a “series of challenges that have tested our regulatory frameworks and stressed the agency’s operations”.
Russia: The bill setting future tax rates has been adopted and published, increasing excise rates for for heated tobacco consumables and devices from 2025 by 4%. Heating devices will be taxed at RUB 70 (€1.20), and consumables at RUB 8,479 (€151) per kg in 2025.
EU: Polish MEP Krzysztof Jurgiel of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group last week submitted a parliamentary question to the European Commission questioning the Commission’s right to define new product categories in the Commission Delegated Directive setting out the EU ban on flavoured heated tobacco products. Jurgiel said: “These actions [introducing a new legal category in a delegated act] may constitute a breach of the founding treaties and the settled case-law of the CJEU [European Court of Justice], according to which Delegated Acts shall not amend essential features of the main act”, in this case the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). He questioned why the EC plans to ban flavoured heated tobacco products within 11 months, when the period for combustible cigarettes was four years.
US - California: Attorney general Rob Bonta yesterday announced $22m in state funding for local government agencies to tackle the illegal sale of tobacco products, especially to minors. He said the Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program would give local agencies “the funding they need to keep our children healthy and hold tobacco retailers accountable”. Any local agencies with authority to enforce tobacco-related state laws or local ordinances are eligible to apply.
Ireland: The Oireachtas (parliament) Joint Health Committee is considering regulating nicotine pouches and heated tobacco. The committee has published a report containing submissions by stakeholders during pre-legislative scrutiny of the Public Health (Tobacco and Nicotine Inhaling Products) Bill 2019, along with its own recommendations in relation to each of the submitted proposals. These include a recommendation that nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products, whose popularity has increased in Europe, should be regulated under the bill.
US - general: Major tobacco companies have reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice regarding tobacco-related health messages at retail locations, the convenience retail association NACS reports. The agreement requires Altria, Philip Morris USA, RJ Reynolds Tobacco and ITG Brands to supply court-ordered signs to stores they have contracts with and require those stores to post them for 21 months. A hearing on the proposed agreement will be held in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on 28th and 29th July, at which point the court will decide whether to accept it.
EU: The Council of the European Union has told TobaccoIntelligence that the Agriculture and Fisheries Council agreed today to extend by two months the scrutiny period during which objections can be raised to the Commission Delegated Directive setting out an EU ban on flavoured heated tobacco products. The scrutiny period will end on 30th October instead of 30th August as initially planned, leading to a delay in implementation of the ban.
US - general: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce the congressionally mandated deadline and clear the market of any synthetic nicotine products that had not obtained FDA authorisation by yesterday, 13th July. It emphasised that a growing number of e-cigarette manufacturers have increasingly switched to using synthetic nicotine since the FDA acted against flavoured products made with tobacco-derived nicotine.
Malaysia: The Cabinet yesterday approved the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill that sets out to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born in or after 2005, press reports. The Cabinet’s approval allows health minister Khairy Jamaluddin to table the bill in Parliament, which he intends to do during the upcoming session, which begins on Monday, 18th July.
US - federal: The American Vapor Manufacturers Association has formally asked the inspector general of the US Department of Health and Human Services to investigate “unethical political interference between Congress and FDA”. Specifically it queries whether the commissioner was aware that the FDA’s Juul decision was based on incomplete information; calls for all correspondence between the commissioner and members of Congress (including senator Dick Durbin and representative Raja Krishnamoorthi) to be made public; and also for other communications between the commissioner and a Wall Street Journal reporter, between him and his immediate predecessor, and between any FDA officials and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Parents Against Vaping to be made public.
Spain: The Ministry of Health has decided not to continue with its planned amendment to the Tobacco Act, press reports. The government has decided there is not enough time before its term ends at the end of 2023 to undertake the reform, which would have banned smoking on open-air terraces, in cars with children or pregnant women present, and in open-air stadiums. It would also have established neutral packaging and further restricted the advertising of tobacco and vaping products. The amendment was framed within the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention and Control of Smoking 2021-2025, which was meant to be approved by June 2022 and now presumably will not be approved.
US - federal: Tomorrow, 13th July, is the last day for synthetic nicotine products to be marketed in the US without a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) submitted by 14th May. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will maintain enforcement discretion, it will be illegal after tomorrow to distribute such products without a PMTA.
Philippines: The Presidential Office has confirmed to TobaccoIntelligence that it received the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, which will further regulate heated tobacco products, on 24th June, six days before president Bongbong Marcos took office. If the president does not act on a bill submitted by Congress, it lapses into law after 30 days of receipt.
Hungary: The Supervisory Authority for Regulatory Activities (SZFTH) has provided TobaccoIntelligence with sales data on heated tobacco products, chewing tobacco and nicotine pouches. In 2021, 1.6bn sticks of heated tobacco were sold, twice the 2020 figure. From January through May 2022, 996m heated tobacco sticks were sold. Sales of chewing tobacco fell with the introduction of nicotine pouches to the Hungarian market, from 1.4 tonnes in 2019 to 269 kg in 2020, 776 kg in 2021 and 326 kg for the first five months of 2022. There were 8.2 tonnes of nicotine pouches sold in 2021, up from 1.8 tonnes in 2020. In the first five months of 2022, nicotine pouch sales amounted to 5.2 tonnes.
EU: The European Council of Ministers' Working Party on Public Health has requested a two-month extension of scrutiny on the Commission Delegated Directive amending the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) to establish a flavourings ban for heat-not-burn (HnB) products. The Permanent Representatives Committee, which meets tomorrow, will decide whether or not to recomend the Council to allow the extra time.
US - federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 110,000 comments on the proposed rule prohibiting menthol cigarettes and around 60,000 comments on the proposed rule that would prohibit characterising flavours in cigars. Opponents of the bill, including business owners and tobacco retailers, wrote that it would directly impact their profit. One wrote: “This ban targets a significant portion of my revenue; menthol cigarettes alone make up 36 percent of all cigarette sales in the United States.” Supporters regard it as a necessary step toward health equity. The comment period has been extended by the FDA from 5th July to 2nd August.
US - federal: A US district judge from Washington DC has ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s decision to deem the category of “premium cigars” as tobacco products, and not exempt them from the deeming rule, is arbitrary and capricious.
Iceland: A bill amending Law 87/2018 on electronic cigarettes and refills has today come into force. The law makes nicotine pouches subject to the same regulations as e-cigarettes, including age restrictions, product restrictions, labelling and packaging requirements, notification requirements, public usage and advertising restrictions. It also makes the sale of nicotine products subject to licensing by the Housing and Civil Engineering Institute. Some labelling restrictions will apply from 1st September.
Ukraine: From today the use of heated tobacco is banned in the same places where smoking is prohibited.
Brazil: The board of the National Public Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) decided unanimously at an extraordinary meeting yesterday, 6th July, to maintain the existing ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco. The agency will now prepare a regulatory draft that will be sent to the body’s governing body, the college, for deliberation. The college will later decide whether or not to open the draft for a public consultation.
UK: Junior health minister Maggie Throup has told MPs that the Committee on Toxicity of Food, Consumer Products and the Environment will consider its draft statement on the toxicological risks associated with nicotine pouches at its July meeting. “It is estimated that a final statement will be available by autumn 2022,” she added.
EU: The European Council’s public health working party will tomorrow discuss tomorrow the Commission delegated directive applying the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) flavour ban to heated tobacco. The discussion comes within the two-month scrutiny period that the delegated directive has to undergo, during which both the Council and the European Parliament can either veto it or inform the Commission that that they have no objections, prematurely ending the two-month period.
Philippines: Presidential spokesperson Trixie Cruz-Angeles has told reporters that the new president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, has given no indication of whether or not he supports the Vaporized Nicotine Products Regulation Bill, which would change regulations on vaping and heated tobacco products. Bills approved by the former Congress lapse into law if the president fails to act on it within 30 days of receiving it. The presidential office has not confirmed to TobaccoIntelligence when the bill was received.
Romania: The Ministry of Finance has introduced a bill to progressively increase the excise duty on heated tobacco products. It proposes a rate of RON594.97 (€120.29) per kg in 2022; RON834.63 (€168.75) per kg in 2023; RON1,094.93 (€221.38) per kg in 2024; RON1,146.62 (€231.83) per kg in 2025; and RON1,198.28 (€242.27) per kg in 2026. If the bill is approved, the new rate will come into force on 1st August and be updated on that date each year thereafter.
Belarus: The excise tax on heated tobacco rose on 1st July to BYR170.26 ($50.30) per kg under presidential decree №224. The rate will go up again from 1st October to the end of the year to BYR178.77 ($52.84) per kg.
Kazakhstan: Jamilya Sadykova, leader of the national coalition “For a Smoke-Free Kazakhstan”, is suing Philip Morris Kazakhstan over sponsorship and inappropriate advertising of heated tobacco, media reports. The Special Economic Court of the Almaty Region has reportedly accepted the claim against the Iqos manufacturer.
EU: EU law requires certain large companies to disclose information on the way they operate and manage social and environmental challenges. The European Council and Parliament have reached an agreement on the rules of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which will impact listed EU and non-EU companies operating in the region, with a turnover of more than €150m. Among more detailed reporting requirements, it requires large companies to report on sustainability issues such as environmental, social and human rights and governance factors, and to have their reported sustainability information independently audited.