EU: The European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG-Santé) has published a document entitled Healthier Together, on the EU non-communicable diseases initiative, highlighting the control of “tobacco and related products”. The paper lists policies that have proved “effective or promising”, such as product regulation, price increases, warnings, reduced advertising, sponsorship and promotion, and controls on the availability and density of retailers.
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Bulgaria: A budget bill which would have gradually increased excise tax on heated tobacco products will not be voted on after the government was dissolved following a no-confidence vote.
South Korea: Heated tobacco products will have to carry new pictorial warnings from 23rd December following a decision by the National Health Promotion Policy Deliberative Committee to change the prescribed images. The text element of the warnings will remain unchanged.
Oman: The Omani Consumer Protection Authority today published a warning stressing its commitment to enforcing the ban on alternative (smokeless) tobacco products. It announced the arrest and fining of a foreign worker in the coastal city of Barka for selling chewing tobacco, which is banned under resolution No. (256/2015), amended by resolution No. (301/2016).
Kazakhstan: The Senate, the upper chamber of Parliament, has approved a bill to introduce changes to the Tax Code, media reports. It would increase the tax rate on heated tobacco to KZT12,925 ($2.50) per kg from 1st January 2023 with a gradual increase to follow over the next ten years. The bill will now be sent to president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for signature.
EU: The European Commission yesterday launched an initiative to review the Council’s 2009 Recommendation on smoke-free environments. The initiative seeks to extend the recommendation’s coverage to include emerging products and to incorporate additional outdoor spaces. The feedback period is open until 20th July.
Kazakhstan: The concept of harm reduction, as well as the regulation of new nicotine products, has been discussed at the first Eurasian nicotine forum in the capital, Nur-Sultan, media reports. The forum was attended by scientists, doctors, representatives of leading tobacco firms and interest groups.
US - federal: The Biden-Harris administration yesterday published an outline of possible future regulatory actions, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s plans to develop a product standard rule establishing a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain other combusted tobacco products, with the stated aim of reducing youth use, addiction and death.
Russia: Bill 99437-8, specifying additional product, labelling and notification requirements for smokeless tobacco products intended for sucking, chewing or sniffing, has come through its first reading in the State Duma. If adopted, it will come into force on 1st September. As the sale of most oral products, including snus and nicotine pouches, is illegal in Russia, TobaccoIntelligence believes this bill would apply to chewing tobacco.
Sweden: The Riksdag (parliament) has approved a bill on Stricter rules for new nicotine products, strengthening the restrictions on advertising and marketing of tobacco products and providing regulation on nicotine pouch ingredients, packaging, labelling, advertising, marketing and sales.
US - New Jersey: Assembly Bill 4316 has been introduced, which would prohibit the use of tobacco products and e-cigarettes by drivers engaged in delivery of food.
France: Following president Emmanuel Macron’s loss of a majority in the National Assembly, with the left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon taking 131 seats and Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National 89 seats, against the 245 held by Macron’s Ensemble! coalition, it will be difficult for the re-elected president to pursue his agenda – which included no proposed change in policy on tobacco products. During his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Mélenchon proposed getting tougher on tobacco smuggling. However, neither candidate’s manifesto mentioned new nicotine products.
Italy: The Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has updated the list of websites that do not comply with restrictions on advertising and long-distance sales of tobacco products. Websites that are still non-compliant on 23rd June will be blocked by the ADM.
New Zealand: Associate health minister Ayesha Verall has introduced a bill setting new requirements for entry into the combustible tobacco retail market. The bill is part of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Plan and is aimed primarily at reducing the number of retailers who can sell smoking products; it does not apply to heated tobacco. Among the measures is a ban on the sale of smoking products to anyone born on or after 1st January 2009.
Czech Republic: Opposition MPs want to restrict the sale of nicotine pouches in the Czech Republic, media reports. A proposal expected to be given to the government for consideration before being discussed in the legislature would ban the sale of nicotine pouches to under-18s and introduce some restrictions on public use. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health is preparing its own nicotine pouch regulation.
EU: The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG-Santé) has told TobaccoIntelligence that the minutes of the 16th May meeting of the expert group on tobacco policy should be published by the end of June. The minutes will show whether the experts adopted the draft of a delegated directive to ban flavours in heated tobacco products and make changes to labelling and health warnings.
US - federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an extension to the public comment period for its proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars from 60 days to 90 days. Comments can now be submitted until 2nd August. The Cigar Association of America and Premium Cigar Association have both launched online portals enabling people to submit prewritten comments to the agency easily.
EU: The European Commission last week adopted a report “on the establishment of a substantial change of circumstances for heated tobacco products in line with Directive 2014/40/EU”. The report serves as a basis for amendment of a delegated directive establishing a ban on flavoured heated tobacco products. The report, which is a required step towards adoption of the directive, finds that sales of heated tobacco products have risen by at least 10% in at least five EU member states and now exceed 2.5% of total tobacco sales within the EU.
Sweden: The Riksdag (parliament) Social Affairs Committee has published a report on the bill Stricter rules for new nicotine products supporting the proposed regulation of nicotine pouches and the strengthening of restrictions on the advertising and marketing of tobacco products generally. The bill will be debated in the Riksdag before a vote on 22nd June.
EU: Tomorrow, 17th June, is the last day to submit comments on the European Commission initiative to review the current tobacco legislative framework, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and the Tobacco Advertising Directive (TAD). The initiative covers product regulation, advertising, promotion and sponsorship. It aims to assess how far the framework has fulfilled its goals and whether it can support a “tobacco-free generation” by 2040, as announced by the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA).
Denmark: A possible tobacco ban is among the topics for discussion at today’s Folkemødet (People’s meeting), an open forum for political parties to engage with the public. The discussion, led by the Danish Cancer Society, will feature MP Per Larsen of the opposition Conservative People’s Party. In April, health minister Magnus Heunicke said it would not be possible to implement a proposed ban on access to tobacco and nicotine for those born in or after 2010 due to the terms of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
Brazil: The National Public Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) will discuss the regulation of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco at its next meeting, on 22nd June, when it will consider information and comments received during a public consultation, which closed on 10th June. No final decision is expected yet. In its preliminary report, published in April, the agency suggested that the existing ban should be maintained.
Kazakhstan: The organisation League of Consumers of Kazakhstan has launched an online petition against a sharp increase in excise taxes on heated tobacco. It comes in response to the recent adoption at its second reading in the Mazhilis, the lower house of parliament, of a bill to increase the tax rate to KZT 12,925 ($29) per kg from 1st January 2023, with a further gradual increase over the next ten years. The bill is now to be sent to the Senate for further procedure.
US - Michigan: House Bill 6108 has been referred to a second reading. The bill would amend state law to raise the legal age to purchase a tobacco, vapour or alternative nicotine product from 18 to 21, in accordance with federal law.
Netherlands: Market data notification on sales volumes of products in the previous year is required in the Netherlands by 15th June each year.
UK: MP Andrew Gwynne asked health secretary Sajid Javid yesterday whether tobacco lobbyists would have any influence on the government’s overdue tobacco control plan, prevention strategy or planned response to the Khan review? Javid said the government was committed to a smoke-free 2030, which was why he commissioned the independent review. “I welcome its findings and we are carefully considering them,” he said.
South Africa: The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that the regulations banning the sale of tobacco products during the Covid-19 lockdown were invalid and unconstitutional. This comes after the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs imposed a series of regulations to contain Covid-19, including a ban on the sale of heated tobacco and e-cigarettes.
US - federal: The Biden administration is intending to pursue a policy of reducing nicotine in cigarettes to “minimally or nonaddictive levels”, according to the Wall Street Journal. The policy could be announced as early as next week, though it would not take effect for several years due to the rule-making process.
Sweden: A report will be published on Thursday, 16th June, after the Social Affairs Committee met today to discuss a bill on Stricter rules for new nicotine products. The bill would regulate nicotine pouch ingredients, packaging, labelling, advertising, marketing and sales, and strengthen restrictions on the advertising and marketing of tobacco products. Parliament will vote on the bill on 21st June.
Canada: Health Canada has proposed new packaging restrictions for tobacco products, including rotating health-related messages and bigger health warnings for heated tobacco covering 75% of the packaging. The consultation was opened on 11th June and will last for 75 days. Stakeholders can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org until 25th August.
Finland: The student and youth sections of the Coalition Party put a motion to the opposition party’s congress at the weekend calling for the legalisation of snus and chewing tobacco, media reports. However, the party’s programme manager, Antti Vesala, said legalising snus was practically impossible since it would conflict with EU law.
Italy: The Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has updated the retail prices and excise duties on heated tobacco consumables.
Philippines: The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling recognising the regulatory authority of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over tobacco products. The Philippine Tobacco Institute had argued that tobacco regulation should be in the hands of the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco). The FDA and DOH are the current regulatory authorities for heated tobacco and e-cigarettes.
US - Federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding public listening sessions today (13th June) and Wednesday (15th June) on its proposed menthol cigarette and flavoured cigars ban. The sessions will allow individuals, communities and organisations to share their views, based on which the agency will decide if any changes should be made to the proposed rules.
UK: E-cigarette retailer VPZ has initiated a petition calling on the British government to impose an outright ban on the sale of cigarettes and smoking, and to develop a strategy to help more people switch to vaping. An identical petition has also been submitted in Scotland.
France: The results of yesterday’s first round of voting in the National Assembly elections suggest the second round on 19th June will be a close contest between the left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and president Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble! coalition, which risks losing its present majority. During his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Mélenchon proposed getting tougher on tobacco smuggling and aiming for a “zero tobacco” youth. Neither candidate’s manifesto mentioned new nicotine products.
Uzbekistan: The Senate has rejected a bill to restrict distribution and use of alcohol and tobacco products, saying it needs to be clarified and improved, press reports. The bill, which covers all tobacco and nicotine products, including vaping and heat-not-burn (HnB) products, will be presented again at the next full session of the Senate after the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, considers the shortcomings pinpointed by senators.