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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.
UK: In response to a parliamentary question, junior environment minister Jo Churchill said no specific assessment had been made of the number of vape pens that go to landfill. She reiterated that the government plans to consult on reforms to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations later this year.
California: San Diego City Council voted 7-2 at a special meeting yesterday to approve the SAAFE (Stop Adolescent Addiction to Flavored E-cigarettes) Act, which would prohibit the sale of all flavoured tobacco products in the city, local media reports. The issue will come before the council again in 30 days.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin reportedly said last week that the 15% import duty on nicotine gum products, to be imposed from 1st June, should either reduced or cancelled, describing them as a good smoking cessation tool. This liberal policy towards nicotine gum would be in contrast to the legal framework for heated tobacco products, which are deemed to be as harmful as cigarettes. The government is planning to ban the sale of such products, along with e-cigarettes, to anyone born after 2005.
US - California: On today’s agenda for San Diego City Council was Item 600, the approval of the SAAFE (Stop Adolescent Addiction to Flavored E-cigarettes) Act, which would prohibit the sale of flavoured tobacco products in the city. If passed, the ban will include all flavours but for tobacco from 1st January 2023.
Belgium: Four large tobacco companies have been fined a total of almost €36m after the Belgian Competition Authority finally delivered a decision on a case dating back more than seven years. The four companies were accused of colluding on prices, between 2011 and 2015, avoiding the normal risks of competition. British American Tobacco (BAT) Belgium was fined €5.7m, Etablissements L. Lacroix Fils must pay €7m, while JT International and Philip Morris Benelux were fined €7.2m and €16m respectively.
US - Maine: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has issued a public statement praising Brunswick Town Council after it passed an ordinance on Tuesday prohibiting the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 1st June. The pressure group is urging the state legislature to enact a state-wide flavour ban by passing bill LD 1550.
Ukraine: Under the amendment to the Tobacco Act adopted last month, it is temporarily permitted to import and sell in Ukraine heated tobacco consumables manufactured and marked (including language requirements) in accordance with the requirements of the EU member state where it is made. The measure will last until the cessation or abolition of martial law in Ukraine.
US - New York: Assembly Bill 9879 has been introduced, which would make it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess tobacco or vaping products. The sale of tobacco, vapour products and smoking paraphernalia to under-21s is already prohibited.
UK: Health secretary Sajid Javid has told Parliament that the independent review of tobacco control, headed by Javed Khan, should be published in May.
Finland: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has confirmed to TobaccoIntelligence that an amendment to the Tobacco Act was yesterday approved by president Sauli Niinistö. From 1st May 2022 the list of smoke-free environments will be extended and the existing flavour ban will be extended to include DIY additives. Uniform packaging for tobacco products will become mandatory on 1st May 2023.
Portugal: Following the rejection by Parliament of the first State Budget, prime minister António Costa’s new government today presented a new Budget, with a proposed increase in tax on heated tobacco consumables from €0.0837 to €0.0845 per g still intact. Parliament still needs to approve the new budget, which is expected to happen by the end of May.
Italy: The Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has updated the retail prices and excise duties payable on heated tobacco consumables.
UK: Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police have seized 2,366 snus products in a raid on a souvenir shop in London’s Oxford Street, press reports. Snus cannot be sold legally in the UK.
US - Arkansas: Senate Bill 45 is advancing through the legislative process. It would raise from 19 to 21 the legal age to purchase, sell, exchange, or possess tobacco, nicotine products or any “electronic smoking product”, and ban their online sale. It would also levy a tax on all nicotine-containing electronic smoking products at 75% of their wholesale price.
Russia: Alexander Malkevich, a member of the Civic Chamber of Russia, a federally funded advisory state body, has proposed allowing previously banned TV advertising of alcohol and tobacco products, due to falling advertising revenues, media reports.
Russia: Members of the State Duma have proposed a moratorium on mandatory traceability labelling of goods until 1st January 2028, media reports. If adopted, this would affect the traceability labelling of heated tobacco consumables, which become mandatory on 1st March.
India: A group of MPs from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) urged the government yesterday to take steps to remove designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports, press reports. The use of heated tobacco is not prohibited by federal law, but officials sometimes treat its use as if it were smoking.