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Tunisia: Tobacco importers and manufacturers have until 13th December to place a health warning on their products. Last year, the health ministry imposed health warnings covering 70% of the packaging, with an original deadline of 21st January 2023. Heated tobacco is treated as a tobacco product and has been under the monopoly of the National Tobacco and Matches Authority since September 2021.
Sweden: The government has notified through the EU TRIS database a bill to implement further restrictions on notification, advertising, labelling and packaging of nicotine pouches. The standstill period ends on 21st April.
South Korea: A bill was introduced last week seeking to reduce the national health promotion tax on snus and nicotine pouches from KRW534.50 ($0.43) to KRW56.10 ($0.046) per g.
US - Oregon: House Bill 3090 has been introduced, which would ban the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, menthol and smokeless tobacco. The bill’s definition of “tobacco products” includes all those that contain either natural or synthetic nicotine.
Indonesia: The Directorate General of Customs and Excise has revealed how much revenue was collected from e-cigarette and heated tobacco excise duty in 2022, press reports. A total of IDR1.02tn ($68m) included IDR627.11bn ($42m) from open-system e-cigarettes, IDR119.47bn ($8m) from closed-system e-cigarettes, and IDR271.93bn ($18m) from heated tobacco products. The total revenue collected from tobacco and related products was IDR218.62tn ($14.57bn), of which e-cigs and heated tobacco accounted for just 0.4%.
Czech Republic: A Ministry of Health draft decree on tobacco-free nicotine pouches has been notified to the EU TRIS system. It seeks to provide further regulatory details for the composition, labelling, notification and other requirements for nicotine pouches, including a limit of 12 mg of nicotine per pouch. The standstill period ends on 20th April.
Mexico: The National Association of Small Retailers (Anpec) has warned that the General Tobacco Control Act amendment that came into force on Sunday will hit its members hard, press reports. It says the new measures, which include a display ban, will encourage black market sales and “generate direct socioeconomic effects on small and medium-sized shops, since the sales of these products represent 25% of their monthly income”.
Italy: Health minister Orazio Schillaci told a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies Social Affairs Committee that he intends to update the anti-smoking law by extending the smoking ban to public places frequented by children and pregnant women, eliminating smoking rooms in public places, and equating heated tobacco use and vaping with smoking. A bill to that effect may be introduced in the parliament soon.
UK: Junior health minister Neil O’Brien said yesterday that the government has no current plans to implement further tobacco harm reduction strategies. He also said that because the government encourages users to quit all forms of tobacco, it did not recommend the use of heated tobacco. He added: “Snus is banned in the United Kingdom and we have no plans to introduce additional tobacco products to the market as we have safer nicotine delivery products currently available for smokers to switch to.”
Russia: Parliament’s lower chamber, the State Duma, today fully adopted the government’s proposed tax amendments, media reports. Assuming they also pass the Federation Council, the upper chamber, and are signed by president Vladimir Putin, the excise tax on heated tobacco devices will be scrapped, while that on the tobacco itself will reportedly rise from RUB7,839 (€105) per kg to RUB8,669 (€116) per kg on 1st March, with further increases to follow in 2024 and 2025.
EU: An application to the European Court of Justice by Nicoventures and five others to annul the EU-wide flavour ban for heated tobacco products imposed by Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2022/2100 has now been published. The applicants claim the ban goes beyond the powers delegated to the European Commission (EC) under Directive 2014/40/EU and say the Commission failed to state reasons, as required by Article 296 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Our regulatory report provides a detailed analysis of whether or not the contested measure may be considered to exceed the EC’s powers.
US - Hawaii: Senate Bill 148 has been introduced, which would prohibit the sale or furnishing of a tobacco product or e-cigarette to anyone born on or after 1st January 2003.
UK: In answer to a parliamentary question about when the new tobacco control plan and a response to the Khan review would be published, junior health minister Neil O’Brien said Khan’s recommendations were being considered and that further information would be available “in due course”. In the past few months, no official has denied reports that the new plan may not get published under the current government or said when it would be published. This suggests no changes to the alternative tobacco products regime can be expected within the next few years.
Paraguay: Opposition senator Pedro Santa Cruz has written to president Mario Abdo Benítez urging him to increase the tax on tobacco products, including heated and oral tobacco, from 20% to 22% of the wholesale price, with proceeds to go to the National Cancer Institute (Incan).
Russia: The State Duma Committee on Budget and Taxes has backed the government’s tax amendments, media reports. Under the plan, if adopted, excise tax on heated tobacco devices will reportedly be scrapped, while the tax on heat-not-burn (HnB) consumables will rise from RUB7,839 (€105) to RUB8,669 (€116.50) per kg on 1st March, with further increases in 2024 and 2025.