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US - Michigan: House Bill 6108 has been recently introduced and referred to the Committee on Judiciary. The bill would amend state law to raise the legal age to purchase a tobacco product, vapour product or an alternative nicotine product from 18 to 21, in accordance with federal law.
UK: Javed Khan, who has been tasked by the government to to head an independent review into tobacco control, has tweeted that the presentation of the review to the government, originally scheduled for yesterday, 25th May, has been postponed until June.
Spain: More than 85% of Spaniards would be in favour of a more restrictive regulation on tobacco products and 72% would ban smoking on restaurant and bar terraces, press reports. The survey was conducted by the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC). Susana Morena, coordinator of the Smoke-free week (a campaign organised by semFYC) said the restrictions on smoking should be extended to e-cigarettes and tobacco-heating devices. She said there was a false perception among young people that such products were less dangerous.
Russia: Members of the parliamentary cross-party working group on protecting the health of citizens from alcohol, drug and tobacco are planning to submit a bill to prohibit the sale of nicotine-containing products to people born after 2010, media reports. The current legal framework includes heated tobacco products and nicotine-containing liquids under the definition of nicotine-containing products.
Bangladesh: Around 40 members of Parliament have signed a declaration vowing to achieve a “tobacco-free Bangladesh” by 2040, fulfilling a “visionary statement” made by prime minister Sheikh Hasina in 2016, press reports.
Australia: A change of government, following the weekend’s federal election, could have a direct impact on nicotine and innovative tobacco products in the country. The Australian Labor Party, which has promised to crack down on “unhealthy products”, now has 75 seats in the House of Representatives (out of 151) and 26 in the Senate (out of 76). This approach, together with the existing 2030 National Tobacco Strategy, which will be focused on reducing tobacco lobbying and holding public campaigns warning of the dangers of tobacco products, is sure to play a big role in future regulation.
US - Federal: In an appointment that has been met with dismay by many in the tobacco alternatives industry, Brian King is to be the new head of the US FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). He will take over the position on 3rd July after spending more than a decade at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In announcing his choice, FDA commissioner Robert Califf emphasised that King has detailed knowledge of premarket review pathways and tobacco product applications.
New Jersey: Senate Bill S 2667 has been introduced. It would prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes and the sale or distribution of e-cigarettes and related products in all flavours but for tobacco.
Colombia: The Ministry of Health reports that between 2016 and 2021, smoking prevalence fell from 8.3% to 5.6%, a drop of 1m in the number of smokers in Colombia. The ministry has not revealed figures for the number of users of e-cigarettes or heated tobacco.
Paraguay: The Senate last week approved the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, an international treaty adopted in 2012 by parties to the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The matter now moves on to the Chamber of Deputies, whose approval is required before Paraguay ratifies the treaty.
Russia: State Duma member Sultan Khamzaev, head of the federal Sober Russia project, has proposed banning QR codes, web addresses and corporate social media accounts from the packaging of tobacco and nicotine-containing products, media reports. Advertising of tobacco and nicotine-containing products is prohibited in Russia.Russia:
EU: The European Commission published on Friday, 20th May, an initiative to evaluate the EU’s legislative framework for tobacco, covering 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 intended by the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA). The initiative, which will help the Commission decide whether the EU approach should continue or be amended, is now open for feedback until 17th June.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong police have arrested two people for violating the ban on selling alternative smoking products. Officers seized 94 boxes of suspected nicotine-containing e-cigarette cartridges and 74 “smoking devices” during the operation in Mong Kok, press reports. They were the first arrests under the ban, which came into effect on Saturday.
EU: The European Commission has told TobaccoIntelligence the next step towards adoption of the Delegated EU Directive on exemptions for heated tobacco products, and amending Articles 7 and 11 of Directive 2014/40/EU, will be its translation into all official EU languages and its adoption by the Commission. The Commission will then notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and the Council, which will have two months to scrutinise it – a period that may be extended by another two months at the initiative of the Parliament or the Council. After that it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and come into force 20 days later. The transposition period is expected to last at least six months.
US - Colorado: House Bill 22-1064 was approved by the state House yesterday and sent to the Senate for consideration, local media reports. The bill would prohibit the distribution of flavoured cigarettes, tobacco or nicotine products, including those containing synthetic nicotine. Since its introduction, the bill has been changed to exempt hookahs, premium cigars and pipe tobacco.
US - federal: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Robert Califf, and Michele Mital, acting director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), have explained in an online media call how two proposed rules on menthol and flavours are expected to work. The FDA intends the product standard to cover all types, sizes, nicotine strengths and formulations of cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and roll-your-own tobacco as well as heated tobacco products. The agency is seeking data and evidence for potential exemptions, either for certain types of product or on a case-by-case basis, for products that may have different public health impacts, such as heat-not-burn (HnB) products or low-nicotine cigarettes.
US - Hawaii: House Bill 1570 passed its final reading yesterday on a 36-15 vote. The bill to ban the sale of all flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, combustible menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars, has now been passed by both chambers of the Legislature and requires only the signature of governor David Ige to become law.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Customs reports a major operation to combat illicit heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, with products with an estimated market value of $15m seized in the past month. The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into effect on Saturday, 30th April, banning production, import, sales and promotion of heat-not-burn (HnB) and vaping products, subject to a fine of up to $50,000 and up to six months’ jail.