EU: EU negotiators hope to reach a compromise on the new Battery Regulation during a final session on 9th December, media reports. The new regulation seeks to regulate the whole life cycle of batteries, from design to disposal, repealing the current EU Batteries Directive. It would cover a wide range of industrial and portable batteries, potentially including those in vaping devices. However, it will provide only a general framework, leaving details to be provided in secondary EU legislation, such as delegated and implementing acts – around 32 of which are expected to complement the Battery Regulation.
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Lithuania: Parliament has approved Bill XIVP-2036(2), strengthening the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department (NTAKD)’s power to shut down illegal advertising and online sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products, including e-cigarette products. From 1st January, the NTAKD will be authorised to order internet and network service providers to remove illegal content.
Australia: The Australian Capital Territory today passed the Health Legislation Amendment Bill, which amends the 2008 Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act and the 1927 Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act to ban the sale of e-cigarettes from vending machines and implement stronger measures to enforce the ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s.
US - general: A medical study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) suggests that patients who used e-cigarettes were at a higher risk than non-vapers of developing dental cavities. This is treated as preliminary data, and the researchers say: “evidence on the potential oral health effects of vaping is scarce and there are limited data on possible links to both caries and periodontal disease”.
Italy: The government has introduced a provision into the 2023 Budget Bill that would block the planned increase in e-cigarette excise duty for 2023, media reports. The bill has not yet been introduced in Parliament.
UK: Asked if and when the long-anticipated Tobacco Control Plan might be published, junior health minister Lord Markham told the Lords (Parliament’s upper house) the government was “taking stock” of whether a fresh tobacco control plan was the best way to respond to the recommendations in the Khan review. The same view was shared a few days earlier in the House of Commons by junior minister Neil O’Brien, bringing into question the future of the plan.
Kazakhstan: Following a recent proposal to ban vapour products, the harm reduction association Densaulyk says not all e-cigarettes should be banned, but only disposables, which it says are “the main threat”, media reports.
US - Louisiana: The Department of Revenue has published a rule amending the Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC 61.III.1533 and 1534) to mandate electronic filing of tobacco tax returns and reports by retailers of vapour products and electronic payment of the tax. The proposed rule was published on 20th August and heard on 27th September.
Vietnam: Tran Thi Trang, deputy director of the Ministry of Health legal department, today told a seminar organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications that the health ministry was opposed to any pilot programs for e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, press reports. Instead, she proposed a ban on all such products on the grounds that they are harmful to health and attractive to children and adolescents.
Philippines: Representative Joey Salceda of the majority bloc Lakas-CMD party has presented a bill to increase e-cigarette taxes from 1st January. The proposed rates are PHP60 ($1.05) per ml for nicotine salt e-liquids, plus an ad valorem tax at 20% of the net retail price and a specific tax of PHP20 ($0.34) per device.
Tajikistan: A draft amendment to the Law on Restricting the Use of Tobacco Products was presented at a meeting of a parliamentary working group, press reports. In addition to banning snus and nicotine pouches, it would introduce a minimum retail price for tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
Ireland: Health minister Stephen Donnelly and public health minister Frank Feighan yesterday received government approval to add additional restrictions to the Public Health (Tobacco Inhaling Products) Bill. The proposed restrictions include a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes and related nicotine-inhaling products in vending machines and in places or events intended for children. A proposal banning the advertising of e-cigarettes on public transport, in cinemas and near schools has also been introduced. The bill is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.
Ukraine: Bill 8215, which would ban the importation and transporting of tobacco products and e-liquids from Belarus during the period of martial law and/or the state of emergency, has been registered in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), media reports. The bill would also prohibit the importing of products whose owner or ultimate beneficiary is a legal entity registered in Russia or Belarus, or anyone on whom sanctions have been applied. If adopted, the bill will come into force the day after it is published.
US - Oklahoma: The Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners has voted to join the litigation against the biggest e-cigarette manufacturers, alleging that companies such as Juul Labs knew about the risks involved and their marketing to youth, local media reports. District commissioner Brian Maughan said: “Oklahoma statistically has an exorbitantly high number of young people before they’re even 18, participating in doing e-cigarette forms of tobacco usage.” Oklahoma County, which includes the state capital Oklahoma City, has a population of around 800,000.
UK: Warwickshire Trading Standards officers have carried out test purchases of e-cigarettes at 13 vape stores, using a 15-year-old volunteer, the county council has reported. All retailers asked for ID, but at one store, which remains under investigation, a sale “was nearly made”.
Slovenia: Concerns over the widespread use of e-cigarettes by minors were raised yesterday during a public conference held by the National Institute of Public Health, press reports. The conference, which brought together academics and public officials, heard that e-cigarettes were as dangerous as traditional cigarettes.
France: The Tobacconists’ Confederation is seeking exclusive rights to the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, claiming tobacconists would be able to comply with the ban on selling to minors better than online marketplaces do at present.
UK: Oxfordshire County Council announced yesterday that two businesses in the county had been prosecuted for selling disposable e-cigarettes to children, following investigations by Trading Standards officers. One store was fined £666 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £67 and the council’s full costs of £2,124. The other was fined £600 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60 and a contribution of £1,000 towards the council’s costs. A third retailer is due in court in January over selling an e-cigarette to a minor and for continuing to sell e-cigarettes in non–compliant packaging following a warning.
Spain: Licences to operate a tobacconist’s business are being sold at auction for up to €7m, press reports. If the Tobacco Market Bill, restricting the sale of vaping products to tobacconists, is eventually passed this would represent a big burden for e-cigarette retailers who would have to turn their businesses into tobacconists.
Belgium: The Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment has told ECigIntelligence that the draft 2022-2028 Strategy for a Tobacco-Free Generation will be voted on on 14th December by an interministerial conference on public health made up of federal and regional ministers. The plan, which covers vaping, sets several objectives, including keeping the tobacco industry out of the preparation and implementation of public health policies; improving health promotion policies; a ban on vending machines; tighter restrictions on long-distance sales and advertising; and improving the make-up of vapour products.
Denmark: The Danish Safety Authority has started a campaign against illegal disposable e-cigarettes, especially targetting forbidden fruit flavours that may appeal to children and young people. Most fines issued so far have been aimed at websites, with 295 social media profiles closed down and 65 ads removed from platforms.
France: Deputy Francesca Pasquini of the left-wing opposition NUPES alliance has presented Bill 464 to the National Assembly, aiming to ban disposable e-cigarettes from the French market.