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Spain: The Smoking Prevention Committee (CNPT) – the largest anti-tobacco organisation in Spain, representing several medical and anti-tobacco bodies – has criticised the government’s proposal in the Tobacco Market Bill to open 203 new tobacco shops. If passed, the bill would restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids to tobacconists only within five years. The CNPT says that instead of increasing the number of tobacconists, the current number should be cut by half. The CNPT also criticised the delaying of the Tobacco Control and Prevention Plan 2021-2025, which was meant to be approved eight months ago and has not yet even been presented. CNPT president Andrés Zamorano said he fears neither the Tobacco Plan nor the amendment to the tobacco laws that the government announced will take place before the elections that are due in November 2023.
US - federal: The US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has granted a petition for review of Bidi Vapor and other companies involved in the case and set aside the marketing denial orders (MDOs) issued to them by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), remanding them to the agency. The court held that the MDOs issued to Bidi Vapor, Diamond Vapor, Johnny Copper, Pop Vapor, Vapor Unlimited and Union Street Brands were arbitrary and capricious due to the FDA failing to consider “the relevant marketing and sales-access-restrictions plans”. ECigIntelligence will publish a report in the coming days tracking and analysing all these cases.
EU: The European Commission (EC) yesterday registered a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), “Call to achieve a tobacco-free environment and the first European tobacco-free generation by 2030”. The initiative seeks, among other things, to end the sale of nicotine products to people born after 2010, to extend outdoor smoking-free and vape-free spaces, and to eliminate tobacco advertising and social media presence. The ECI will now need to gather 1m signatures within a year of the start date determined by its organisers, including minimum numbers in at least seven EU member states. If enough verified signatures are gained, the EC will then decide whether to put forward any legislation.
US - federal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent out several warning letters to e-liquid manufacturers, including reminders that the agency’s authority extends to products containing nicotine from any source, not just tobacco. Many of the letters state that the FDA “has not received an application from your firm requesting marketing authorization for the products listed in this Warning Letter”.
Americas: The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), which serves as regional office for the World Health Organization (WHO), has published a 148-page Report on Tobacco Control for the Region of the Americas 2022. The report considers the increasing availability of e-cigarettes as a challenge that impedes the progress of tobacco control. It says: “Terms such as reduced harm or reduced risk tend to confuse people and provide a false sense of security in circumstances where there is no scientific evidence to demonstrate that the consumption of so-called reduced-harm products is safe for health.” And it adds: “The main objective of the marketing strategies for these products is ultimately to attract new users while being able to satiate current tobacco users who wish to quit.”
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has told reporters that the details of the Tobacco and Smoking Control Bill are to be discussed this week by a bipartisan special select committee, which he will chair. Jamaluddin has already accepted recommendations by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Women, Children and Social Development, including dropping punishment for possession of vaping products by anyone born after 2007, although their use will remain punishable. The bill has sparked heated debate among MPs and others, despite reported calls by the King of Malaysia to support it.
South Africa: The Department of Health has told ECigIntelligence that the draft Control of Tobacco Products and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill, first put forward in 2018, has been approved by the Forum of South African Directors General for presentation to the cabinet. Ministers will now either agree and submit the bill to parliament or suggest changes. The next steps, including the timetable, will be guided by the cabinet.
Paraguay: The one-year period for companies to adapt to the requirements set out in Decision 153/2021 ended on 11th August. From now on, manufacturers and importers of e-cigarette products must comply with the notification requirements it lays down, and e-liquids exceeding the 20 mg/ml nicotine limit will not be allowed in the Paraguayan market.
US - California: The San Benito County Board has voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance banning the sale of single-use e-cigarettes and flavoured tobacco products within both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county, which lies in the Coast Range Mountains to the south of San Francisco and has a population of around 64,000. The ordinance, which also prohibits tobacco retailers from selling e-cigarettes, adds to the Californian trend of local flavour bans while a referendum on a state-wide flavour ban is pending.
Chile: Bill 12694-11 to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for vaping products, with and without nicotine, has recently been on the agenda of the Chamber of Deputies Health Committee, having been in the legislative process since June 2019. Though scheduled debates on 2nd, 9th and 16th August failed to take place, the mere fact of the bill’s first appearance on the agenda may suggest a willingness to start pushing it forward. One of the signatories to the bill, Gabriel Boric, became Chile’s president in March.
Kuwait: Kuwaiti Customs has again postponed the adoption of the 100% customs duty imposed on e-cigarettes and e-liquids by the Gulf Cooperation Council, putting it back from 1st September 2022 to 1st January 2023. The administration issued a similar notice in February, postponing adoption of the duty from 1st March to 1st September.
US - California: Senate Bill 1215, which covers the recycling of electronic waste, has been amended by the Assembly to specifically exclude electronic nicotine delivery systems.
Ukraine: Amendments N20 and N21 to Bill 5616 “on the legal protection of geographical indications for agricultural products” would allow public vaping and heated tobacco use in some “specially designated places”. Although the Economic Policy Committee supported both of amendments, they have been criticised for going against a regulation prohibiting the introduction of amendments that do not relate to the topic of a bill.
Ukraine: Inspectors from the State Production and Consumer Service have begun to check on how restaurants and cafes in the capital, Kyiv, are complying with the anti-tobacco legislation, which prohibits vaping and use of heated tobacco in such places, in line with smoking, media reports.
Egypt: The Ministry of Finance has issued a decree setting out a new process for paying the health insurance tax on tobacco products. Decree No. (369) of 2022, published in the Official Gazette, requires the tax to be paid to the state’s public treasury, through Central Bank of Egypt account 2/70/30301/2, instead of the Health Insurance Authority. E-liquids are taxed in Egypt are taxed at a rate of EGP2 ($0.11) per ml plus 10% of the price.
Colombia: Julián Peinado of the Colombian Liberal Party will next week introduce in the Chamber of Representatives a bill to regulate e-cigarettes, equating them with tobacco products, press reports. If approved, the bill will ban sales to minors and introduce packaging and labelling restrictions, including a mandatory health warning, and ban sponsorship of sporting and cultural events. The Colombian Liberal Party is currently the largest party in the Chamber of Representatives, with 32 seats out of 188.
UK: 3,000 illegal vapes worth between £35,000 and £40,000 in total and 77,420 cigarettes have been seized in twin operations in two West Yorkshire towns. Local press reports that the operation by Trading Standards in Dewsbury and Huddersfield was mounted “in response to recent increases in the sale of illegal vapes in both town centres”.
US - federal: Cristine Delnevo, director of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and a professor of health behaviour, society and policy at the Rutgers School of Public Health, has been appointed chair of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) until 31st January 2025. “This advisory committee plays an important role in several ways, perhaps most notably on the review of modified risk tobacco product applications, as required under the Tobacco Control Act,” Delnevo said.
Philippines: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has published the full text of Republic Act 11900, which will regulate the importation, manufacture, sale, packaging, distribution and use of vaping products. The act will come into force 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two general circulation newspapers, which to the best of our knowledge has not yet happened.
New Zealand: From tomorrow, 11th August, all retailers of vaping products must ensure the products they are selling conform to the new packaging regulations. This includes both general retailers and specialist vape stores. Among the rules are new health warnings and newly prohibited features on packaging.
Russia: The Ministry of Industry and Trade has published a draft decree which would make the digital traceability marking of e-cigarettes and e-liquids mandatory ahead of schedule from 1st November. Under the currently operative government decree, the voluntary experiment with traceability marking should last until 28th February 2023.
Albania: The National Tobacco Agency has confirmed to ECigIntelligence that both nicotine-containing and nicotine-free e-cigarettes are regulated under the Law on the Protection of Health from Tobacco Products. Among other measures, the law sets product restrictions, labelling and packaging requirements and retail restrictions.
New York State: County executive Adam Bello has announced that Monroe County’s Department of Environmental Services is partnering with a waste disposal company to collect and dispose of used vape devices and e-liquids. Monroe County, on the shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York is the first county in the state to set up such a service. “Vaping is not only a public health issue, it is an environmental issue,” Bello said.
Uzbekistan: Parliament was today considering the Conciliation Commission’s views on a bill to restrict the distribution and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products, media reports. The Senate rejected the bill in June, calling for clarification and amendments, after it was approved by the lower house, the Legislative Chamber, at the end of 2021. The bill aims to amend current tobacco legislation to cover novel products and to ban sales to under-21s.
Saudi Arabia: The Riyadh Municipality has tweeted about “the most prominent violations” by hospitality premises serving “tobacco products”, which include e-cigarettes. They include offering tobacco products without a permit, failure to disclose monthly sales, failure to specify a “tobacco product serving fee” and adding it as a separate item on the customer’s invoice. The authoritiy points out that all these violations are subject to the penalties stipulated in the 2019 Anti-Smoking Law.
US - federal: Brian King, director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has said in a public update on the agency’s review and enforcement of non-tobacco nicotine products that the CTP has been “working diligently” to process premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs). He said: “I’m thankful that our authority is now clear, and I will not stand by as illegal products with the potential to cause a new generation of youth to become addicted to nicotine, proliferate in the marketplace.” He emphasised that the FDA had received nearly 1m PMTAs from more than 200 separate companies and issued refuse-to-accept (RTA) letters for more than 88,000 products for applications that “do not meet the criteria for acceptance”. Amanda Wheeler, president of the American Vapour Manufacturers Association (AVM), tweeted in response: “Read between the lines: Millions of applications submitted, ZERO approved, yet King assures us the system is working.”
US - general: Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has issued a statement saying the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “should enforce the law and order immediate removal of all unauthorized synthetic nicotine products”, adding that “sending a small number of warning letters does not comply with the law”.
Australia: More than 15,000 nicotine-containing e-cigarettes have been seized in Western Australia in an operation analysing the content of e-cigarettes that were claimed not to contain nicotine. The state authorities have put more than 3,000 retailers on notice, advising them that the sale of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes other than by a pharmacy and without a medical prescription is banned.
Canada - Nova Scotia: The Finance and Treasury Board has told ECigIntelligence that the federal excise duty on vapour products, due to come into force on 1st October, will not replace the provincial Vaping Products Tax.
Malaysia: The Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Electronic Cigarette Device) Order 2022 comes into effect today. It requires manufacturers and importers of e-cigarette devices and components to apply for a certificate to the inspection and testing body SIRIM QAS International before placing them on the market. E-cigs that comply with the Malaysian Standard on Electronic Cigarette Devices will be marked as such.