Kazakhstan: The Senate, the upper chamber of Parliament, has approves a bill to introduce changes to the Tax Code, media reports. It would increase the tax rate on nicotine e-liquids to KZT53 ($0.12) per ml from 1st January 2023 and to KZT55 from 1st January 2024. The bill will now go to president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev for signature. The recent call for a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes has not led so far to any legislative moves.
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EU: The European Commission yesterday launched an initiative to review the Council’s 2009 Recommendation on smoke-free environments. The initiative seeks to extend the recommendation’s coverage to include emerging products and to incorporate additional outdoor spaces. The feedback period is open until 20th July.
Kazakhstan: The concept of harm reduction, as well as the regulation of new nicotine products, has been discussed at the first Eurasian nicotine forum in the capital, Nur-Sultan, media reports. The forum was attended by scientists, doctors, representatives of leading tobacco firms and interest groups.
UK: The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has reported that IP infringement related to e-cigarette products was reported by more than 30% of local Trading Standards Authorities in 2021-2022, far more than in previous years. “This indicates that the market for counterfeit vaping products has transformed during the last four years from a relatively small scale, niche, area of criminal activity into a more significant one,” the IPO said.
Sweden: The Riksdag (parliament) has approved a bill on Stricter rules for new nicotine products, strengthening the restrictions on advertising and marketing e-cigarettes and refills. However, a proposal to ban non-tobacco flavours in e-liquids was rejected, as recommended by the Social Affairs Committee.
US - New Jersey: Assembly Bill 4316 has been introduced, which would prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco products by drivers engaged in delivery of food.
France: Following president Emmanuel Macron’s loss of a majority in the National Assembly, with the left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon taking 131 seats and Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National 89 seats, against the 245 held by Macron’s Ensemble! coalition, it will be difficult for the re-elected president to pursue his agenda – which included no proposed change in policy on vaping products. During his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Mélenchon proposed getting tougher on tobacco smuggling, but neither candidate’s manifesto mentioned new nicotine products.
Italy: The Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has updated the list of websites that do not comply with restrictions on advertising and long-distance sales of vapour products. Websites that are still non-compliant on 23rd June will be blocked by the ADM.
New Zealand: Associate health minister Ayesha Verall has introduced a bill setting new requirements for entry into the combustible tobacco and vaping products retail markets. The bill is part of the Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 Plan and is aimed primarily at reducing the number of retailers who can sell smoking products. Among the measures is a ban on the sale of smoking products to anyone born on or after 1st January 2009.
Canada: The government has proposed changes to the Vaping Products Reporting Regulations, requiring manufacturers of vaping products with and without nicotine to provide Health Canada with information on ingredients and sales data. Retailers would not be required to report information unless they also manufacture vaping products. Reports on ingredients of products sold in Canada would be required a month after the first complete quarter of the year after the coming into force of the proposed regulation for each brand of vaping product or kit sold in Canada. Ingredients reports for new vaping products would have to be made on or before the day they are first sold in Canada.
Sweden: The Riksdag (parliament) Social Affairs Committee has published a report on the bill Stricter rules for new nicotine products supporting the proposed toughening of restrictions on the marketing and advertising of e-cigarette products but rejecting a ban on non-tobacco flavoured e-liquids. The bill will be debated in the Riksdag before a vote on 22nd June.
US - general: A jury at the federal US District Court in Virginia has awarded Philip Morris International (PMI) $10.7m in a patent case against RJ Reynolds Vapor Company, finding that both Vuse Alto and Vuse Solo G2 e-cigarettes infringe PMI patents.
Germany: The Alliance for Tobacco-Free Enjoyment, an association of small and medium-sized companies, has filed a complaint with the Federal Constitutional Court (BVG) to prevent future increases in e-cigarette tax, press reports. This follows a tobacco tax reform, adopted in 2021, which introduced a tax on e-liquids with or without nicotine from 1st July 2022, increasingly annually until 2026.
EU: Tomorrow, 17th June, is the last day to submit comments on the European Commission initiative to review the current tobacco legislative framework, the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and the Tobacco Advertising Directive (TAD). The initiative covers product regulation, advertising, promotion and sponsorship. It aims to assess how far the framework has fulfilled its goals and whether it can support a “tobacco-free generation” by 2040, as announced by the Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA).
Denmark: A possible ban on nicotine products is among the topics for discussion today at the Folkemødet (People’s meeting), an open forum for political parties to engage with the public. The discussion, led by the Danish Cancer Society, will feature MP Per Larsen of the opposition Conservative People’s Party. In April, health minister Magnus Heunicke said it would not be possible to implement a proposed ban on access to tobacco and nicotine for those born in or after 2010 due to the terms of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).
Norway: The Health Directorate has updated its online page on e-cigarettes, which now says the ban on nicotine-containing vapour products is likely to be lifted in 2023.
US - Michigan: House Bill 6108 has been referred to a second reading. The bill would amend state law to raise the legal age to purchase a vapour, tobacco or alternative nicotine product from 18 to 21, in accordance with federal law.
Hungary: The Supervisory Authority for Regulated Activities (SZTFH) published an announcement today about a new, un-notified brand of flavoured disposable e-cigarettes whose usage is widespread among minors – despite flavoured e-cigarettes being banned in Hungary. The SZTFH says it is cracking down and that in recent weeks it has seized HUF135m ($354,000) worth of Elf Bars.
Netherlands: Market data notification on sales volumes of products in the previous year is required in the Netherlands by 15th June each year.
UK: MP Andrew Gwynne asked health secretary Sajid Javid yesterday whether tobacco lobbyists would have any influence on the government’s overdue tobacco control plan, prevention strategy or planned response to the Khan review? Javid replied that the government was committed to a smoke-free 2030, which was why he commissioned the independent review. “I welcome its findings and we are carefully considering them,” he said.
South Africa: The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that the regulations banning the sale of tobacco products during the Covid-19 lockdown were invalid and unconstitutional. This comes after the minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs imposed a series of regulations to contain Covid-19, including a ban on the sale of heated tobacco and e-cigarettes.
China: The national Unified e-cigarette trading platform was launched today. As explained in our report on Chinese regulation, the platform will hold information on licensed operators and all products sold domestically, as well as those intended for export after they are reviewed by the tobacco administration.
Canada: An industry pilot project on recycling of cannabis vape products to tackle consumer waste has ended due to a lack of participation, media reports. The programme, which began in December 2020, aimed to equip over 200 stores in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario with countertop collection boxes, which would then be managed by Quantum Lifecycle Partners, specialists in recycling electronic goods.
Austria: Today, 15th June, is the deadline for the submission of e-cigarette notification fees, which should be calculated by the manufacturer or importer and sent electronically to the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES).
Israel: An order introduced in November 2021, establishing a tax on e-liquids, has expired without being approved by the Knesset (parliament), meaning no such tax will be imposed, press reports. The full Knesset yesterday rejected the Finance Committee’s proposal to reduce the proposed excise duty by 10% to 243% of the common wholesale price.
Kazakhstan: An online petition against a possible ban on the sale and use of e-cigarettes has so far been signed by 6,772 people, with 5,990 in support. The rapidly-growing petition comes in response to a proposal by the leader of the National Coalition for a smoke-free Kazakhstan that a ban on e-cig sales should be added to the Health Code.
Sweden: A report will be published on Thursday, 16th June, after the Social Affairs Committee met today to discuss a bill on Stricter rules for new nicotine products. The bill would ban non-tobacco-flavoured e-liquids and strengthen the restrictions on marketing and advertising of e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Parliament will vote on the proposal on 21st June.
EU: The EU Early Warning System, operated by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) today published its report on New psychoactive substances: 25 years of early warning and responses in Europe. The report, which provides an update on synthetic cannabinoids, warns of an “increase [in some parts of Europe] in reports of the vaping of synthetic cannabinoids using electronic cigarettes”. It adds that “in some cases, individuals are unaware they are using synthetic cannabinoids as the products are mis-sold as containing THC or CBD”.
Philippines: The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling recognising the regulatory authority of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over tobacco products. The Philippine Tobacco Institute had argued that tobacco regulation should be in the hands of the Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco). The FDA and DOH are the current regulatory authorities for heated tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Switzerland: The Federal Office of Public Health has announced a smoking and vaping prevention campaign aimed at childen and young people under the title “Free. Fair. Futures”.
US - Federal: The FDA has issued both authorisation and denial orders to various Njoy disposable e-cigarettes. Marketing Granted Orders were issued for the company’s Daily Rich Tobacco 4.5% and Daily Extra Rich Tobacco 6%". Meanwhile, a number of denial orders were handed out for other Daily products, the FDA stating that “retailers should contact NJOY with any questions about products in their inventory”. Applications for two menthol-flavoured Daily products remain under FDA review.
UK: E-cigarette retailer VPZ has initiated a petition calling on the British government to impose an outright ban on the sale of cigarettes and smoking, and to develop a strategy to help more people switch to vaping. An identical petition has also been submitted in Scotland.
France: The results of yesterday’s first round of voting in the National Assembly elections suggest the second round on 19th June will be a close contest between the left-wing alliance led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon and president Emmanuel Macron’s Ensemble! coalition, which risks losing its present majority. During his unsuccessful presidential campaign, Mélenchon proposed getting tougher on tobacco smuggling and aiming for a “zero tobacco” youth. Neither candidate’s manifesto mentioned vaping products.
Uzbekistan: The Senate has rejected a bill to restrict distribution and use of alcohol and tobacco products, saying it needs to be clarified and improved, press reports. The bill, which covers all tobacco and nicotine products, including vaping and heat-not-burn (HnB) products, will be presented again at the next full session of the Senate after the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, considers the shortcomings pinpointed by senators.
Russia: The bill on regulating the production and circulation of tobacco products has been submitted to the Russian government, media reports. Reportedly, the document would provide for licensing activities in the production and import of tobacco and nicotine-containing products, among other things. However, no further details have been circulated.