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UK: More than 60% of Trading Standards officers say their biggest worry is shops selling illicit e-cigarettes or selling vaping products to children, according to research by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). The CTSI says there has been a surge in illegal sales of e-cigs by specialist vape shops, convenience stores and corner shops over the past year, with more than 1.4 tonnes of illegal vapes seized in the last six months of 2022 in the northeast of England alone.
US - New York: Senate Bill S2133 has been introduced. It would ban the sale of e-cigarettes that contain certain toxic metals, and require the state Department of Health to study the long-term health effects of vaping.
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 vaping with smoking. A bill to that effect may be introduced in Parliament soon.
UK: Asked about the implementation of further tobacco harm reduction strategies, junior health minister Neil O’Brien said yesterday the government currently had no such plans.
Russia: Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, parliament’s lower chamber, today reportedly instructed the relevant committees to study the possibility of a total ban on e-cigarettes and to put forward proposals on the issue. Meanwhile, the Duma fully adopted the government’s plan to scrap the tax on e-cigarette devices while raising the excise tax on e-liquids from RUB18 (€0.24) per ml to RUB20 (€0.27) per ml on 1st March, with further rises in 2024 and 2025. The proposal still has to pass the upper chamber and the Federation Council, and be signed by president Vladimir Putin.
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.
Australia: The Australian Heart Foundation has called for an import ban on e-cigarettes. In a submission to a public consultation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the foundation said that e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, should be declared “prohibited imports”. It also said the TGA should ban all e-liquid flavours other than tobacco, reduce the nicotine concentration, and establish labelling and packaging requirements.
United Arab Emirates (UAE): The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology has told ECigIntelligence that a new fee is now being charged to issue the conformity certificates for regulated products. The fee is AED670 ($182) for the certificate and AED620 ($169) for the technical review of documents. It now takes one and a half working days to resolve an application instead of three, and applications are submitted per model type or per stock keeping unit (SKU).
South Africa: The National Treasury has put into effect the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, introducing a flat excise duty rate of ZAR2.90 ($0.17) per ml for both nicotine and non-nicotine vaping products. The tax will come into force on 1st June.
Canada: In a statement on National Non-Smoking Week, health minister Jean-Yves Duclos said quitting can be achieved by combining supports and tools, such as a quit coach or using approved nicotine replacement therapies such as gums, patches and lozenges, medication, or other less harmful sources of nicotine. He also said evidence suggests that while e-cigarettes are not harmless, vaping exposes smokers to lower levels of harmful chemicals than continuing to smoke.
UK: In answer to a parliamentary question, junior environment minister Rebecca Pow said the government had no information on the value of payments made by e-cigarette importers and manufacturers each year to finance the cost of collection and treatment of disposed-of products. “Such matters would be determined by the contractual arrangements between individual obligated businesses and the Producer Compliance Scheme, approved under the regulations, to which they belong to discharge their obligations," Pow told shadow environment minister Ruth Jones.
US - Montana: Bill LC 1075, which would generally revise alternative nicotine and vapour product laws relating to tobacco, is currently being drafted.
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 e-liquids 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. If they are finally adopted, excise tax on e-cigarette devices will reportedly be scrapped, while the tax on e-liquids will rise on 1st March from RUB18 (€0.24) to RUB20 (€0.27) per ml, with further increases in 2024 and 2025.
US - Connecticut: Senate Bill 40 has been introduced, which would ban smoking and vaping at state beaches and parks and allow municipalities to place restrictions on smoking and vaping at municipal parks and other outdoor venues.
US - federal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Youth Cigarette Prevention Campaign “The Real Cost” launched two new ads this week, focusing for the first time on “the negative mental health effects of cigarette smoking and withdrawal”. One video, titled Auctioneer, highlights the fact that cigarette withdrawal can lead to anxiety; the other, Said Every Smoker Ever, promotes the message that “three out of four teenage smokers stay smokers” into adulthood.
Ukraine: The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy supported Bill 8286 on the introduction of an electronic excise stamp for tobacco products and e-liquids, media reports. If adopted, the bill – considered necessary to ensure the traceability of such products – will apply from 1st January 2024. The committee also backs the related Bill 8287 on corresponding amendments to the Tax Code and other laws.
UK - Scotland: Commenting on a call by an environmental campaigner for a ban on disposable e-cigarettes, an official spokesperson told reporters: “The Scottish government is considering the emerging issues around single-use disposable vapes, and in the meantime it must be remembered that these devices are electronic equipment and should always be disposed of responsibly.”
US - Ohio: Following governor Mike DeWine’s veto of a state bill that would have prohibited local governments from enacting laws to prevent the sale of flavoured tobacco products, a council member in Cincinnati is considering introducing a flavour ban, due to her concern about flavoured products being marketed to youth. “I think that that’s just wrong,” council member Victoria Parks said. “You know, causing addiction and death.” Cincinnati is a city with a population of around 300,000.