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.
As of February 2022, subscribers can view and filter individual regulatory alerts per region. If you want to get our monthly compilations, visit our alerts Round-up section.
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.
UK: Tower Hamlets Council in London has announced the seizure by Trading Standards officers of 8,817 g of “illicit banned smokeless tobacco” as well as 640 counterfeit and “potentially dangerous” e-cigarettes that exceeded the nicotine cap.
UK: West Northamptonshire Council has announced that Trading Standards carried out test purchases in eight vape shops in October. Six shops correctly asked for ID and refused a sale to a 16-year-old girl when she could not produce any, while two shops didn’t. The two retailers now face further investigation. This follows previous inspections in April and August when two out of 18 shops visited sold e-cigarettes to a 16-year-old girl.
Australia: The head of the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA), John Skerrit, has acknowledged that the nicotine e-cigarette regulations implemented on 1st October last year have not been effective, smoking cessation specialist Colin Mendelsohn reports. Skerrit admitted that despite the requirement of a prescription to purchase nicotine-containing e-cigarettes only 10% of adult vapers have a prescription. He said a large number of low quality products hade been imported and were being illegally sold in the country. And he said that of Australia’s 130,000 registered doctors, only 1,353 had applied for authorisation to prescribe e-cigarettes.
US - federal: New warning letters have been sent out by the FDA to e-liquid manufacturers for manufacturing, selling or distributing e-liquid products without a marketing authorisation order.
France: A joint committee made up of seven assembly members and seven senators has failed to agree a common version of the 2023 Social Security Financing Bill after the Senate adopted a version that would impose an excise duty of €6 per ml on disposable e-cigarettes, regardless of nicotine concentration. The bill has now been sent back to the National Assembly for another reading.
Paraguay: Health minister Julio Borba said yesterday that the ministry would tighten its control over sales of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, due to their increasing use by young people, press reports. Borba said vaping was “an entry gate to smoking” and that he will work with the National Health Surveillance Authority (Dinavisa) to find effective control mechanisms.
Germany: Following a meeting last week when members of the Bundestag discussed a smoking cessation study financed by the Federal Joint Committee, the body responsible for determining what medical care is covered by statutory health insurance, one of the study team has told ECigIntelligence that e-cigarettes will be given to participants as a harm reduction product. The study has four stages: psychological counselling, nicotine replacement therapy, smoking cessation medication, and harm reduction products.
Sweden: Bill 2021/22:245, presented in May by the previous government, has been adopted by the Finance Committee and will be debated in Parliament in the coming weeks. The proposal aims to increase excise duty on e-liquids by 1%, starting in 2024. Highly concentrated e-liquids (from 15 to 20 mg/ml) would be taxed at SEK4,040 (€374), and other e-liquids at SEK2,020 (€187), per litre.
UK: Barking and Dagenham Council has reported the seizure of over 500 illicit disposable vapour products from two local shops by the London borough’s Trading Standards department. Both retailers were given written warnings and will continue to be monitored by council officers, with the threat of prosecution if they carry on selling the products.
Thailand: The Department of Disease Control has issued a warning against vaping, especially by young people. It said most products on the market made misleading claims about the health impacts of vaping, which attracts people to e-cigarettes, even though they are banned in Thailand. “The use of electronic cigarettes may result in disease and health hazards, especially severe pneumonia,” the announcement states.
UK: Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced that its Trading Standards team has seized 5,000 illegal e-cigarettes, worth around £66,000, since April. It said the confiscated products exceeded the 2 ml tank volume limit – equivalent to “approximately 650 puffs” – and were incorrectly labelled. Councillor Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “Our team regularly carry out inspections and test purchases to check that premises are following their legal requirements.”
UK: Junior health minister Neil O’Brien has told MPs that the Department of Health and Social Care works with the Department of Education on communications to schools to prevent children from taking up vaping. “To raise awareness of the risks of vaping to children, we have updated information and advice online at the Better Health and Talk to Frank platforms,” O’Brien said.
Lithuania: Bill XIVP-2036(2) was today approved at its first reading in Parliament. The proposal aims to strengthen 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. If it is passed, the NTAKD will be authorised to order internet and network service providers to remove the illegal content.
US - general: According to a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), more than 3m middle and high school students reported using a “tobacco product” in 2022. The study assessed eight commercial products and concluded that for the ninth consecutive year e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product, followed by cigars, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.
Russia: The Far Eastern Customs authority has examined 510 different types of e-cigarette imported into Russia in 2022, media reports. In 20 types, the nicotine content was reportedly found to be two to three times above the legal level, up to 61 mg/ml – the legal limit being 20 mg/ml. Products that exceed the limit may be confiscated and destroyed.