Heat-not-burn poses novel challenge for European regulators

heat-clyde-robinson-900x540The regulatory status of heat-not-burn (HnB) products in Europe remains unclear, despite an increasing number coming to market.

The latest European tobacco-related regulation – including the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which came into force earlier this year – was drafted before HnB was well-established, and regulators have therefore had to determine which category the products best fit into, according to a new ECigIntelligence report.

One of the key differences between HnB products and e-cigs is that the former contain actual tobacco leaf. But unlike in a combustible cigarette, it is not burned, and as a result HnB does not slot easily into either e-cigarette or combustible regulation.

As well as being subject to the TPD, HnB products are also regulated under the law of individual EU member states, mainly for advertising and taxation. As a result, the framework across Europe is not homogeneous – for example, different taxation rules have been applied to these products in a number of countries, such as Italy, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia.


What This Means: The e-cigarette sector is concerned about the regulation of these products, and in particular the possibility that future rules could treat e-cigs and HnB products the same way – effectively scuppering the argument that e-cigs are not tobacco products at all, and bringing e-cigs into tobacco-oriented tax regimes.

– David Palacios ECigIntelligence staff

Photo: Clyde Robinson


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