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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.
Taiwan: About 97% of parents who responded to a survey conducted by the National Alliance of Parents Organisations would like all novel tobacco products to be banned, press reports. The organisation estimated that 73,000 teenagers in Taiwan use e-cigarettes and "similar products". A bill to explicitly ban e-cigarettes and regulate heated tobacco is currently at the final enactment stage.
Brazil: The National Public Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) will be receiving technical and scientific evidence about e-cigarettes and heated tobacco from 11th April to 11th May to help it analyse the impact of regulation. Any interested party can offer evidence. The agency has also published a report suggesting the current prohibition on the import, sales and advertising of heated tobacco should be maintained, and that educational campaigns should be implemented, aimed particularly at young people. Any firm decisions will come later.
Mexico: The Senate has approved a decree bill amending the Customs Duty Act in order to prohibit the importation of tobacco-heating devices. The decree has been submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for further approval.
Malaysia: A bill banning sales of tobacco products to anyone born after 2005 will be discussed tomorrow by a parliamentary Special Committee on Health, Science and Innovation before it is introduced to Parliament in July, press reports. Tomorrow’s discussion will be the first of a series of committee proceedings to review the wording of the bill and its implementation plans, while taking into account the different views from all relevant parties.
Netherlands: Health secretary Maarten van Ooijen has sent the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament, a report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) on “products that make tobacco attractive”. The RIVM is recommending restrictions on the sale and promotion of accessories such as flavoured filters, sprays etc.
US - Colorado: The Finance Committee held a hearing yesterday on House Bill 22-1064, which would prohibit the distribution of flavoured cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products, including those containing synthetic nicotine. Opponents of the bill, which was introduced early this year, argue that the pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program would take a big funding hit as it is currently supported by the state nicotine tax, following a 2020 ballot vote. Democrat representative Kyle Mullica said: “We always run that risk when we want to fund these important programs off of taxes like this that are vices. I think hopefully we start maybe getting away from that because I don’t think that’s probably the most appropriate way to fund these programs.”
Russia: Bill 99437-8, specifying additional product, labelling and notification requirements for smokeless tobacco products intended for sucking, chewing or sniffing has been submitted to the State Duma. If adopted, it will come into force on 1st September.
Bulgaria: The Council of Ministers has agreed to increase excise duties on tobacco and heated tobacco products in order to cut usage, media reports. The exact figures have not yet been released, but the changes are due to come into force in July.
Italy: Nine new flavours of heated tobacco consumables have been notified to the Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM).
UK: Junior health minister Maggie Throup told MPs during a debate on “Smoke-free England” that she was aware of the desire to bring snus to the UK market to give smokers further choice of less harmful alternatives, but reiterated that the government does not intend to introduce a new tobacco product. She added: “We will continue to consider the evidence around snus and we welcome additional non-tobacco reduced-risk products to the UK market.”
Lithuania: The Ministry of Health, along with the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department (NTAKD), has presented a draft National Agenda on drug, tobacco and alcohol control, prevention of drug sse and drug-related harm up tol 2035 to the Seimas (parliament) Committee for Addiction Prevention. The plan aims to reduce the supply of tobacco and related products through policies based on scientific studies, improving excise duties, raising awareness of the effects of smuggling on the public budget, regulating emerging products promptly, and strengthening advertising restrictions.
Spain: The Ministry of Health has told the press that a draft amendment to the tobacco control law will shortly be finalised. Although the exact content of the proposal is not yet known, it is expected to include a ban on the use of tobacco products, including heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, in places such as outdoor terraces, beaches, and in private cars. It is also reported that plain packaging is to be introduced, although it is unclear for which products. It remains uncertain what other restrictions might be applied to heat-not-burn (HnB) products and e-cigarettes and whether nicotine pouches are to be included. Lastly, the press reports that prices will be raised, however, it is again unclear which products will be affected.
US - Maine: A dispute is still ongoing between supporters and opponents of Legislature bill LD 1550, which was introduced last year, local media reports. The bill would ban the sale and distribution of tobacco products in any flavour other than tobacco.