Malaysia: The Bipartisan Parliamentary Committee on Health, Science and Innovation has recommended that the proposed generational ban on purchase of vape products should be delayed for three years, and that the ban should start with those born after 2008, instead of 2007, press reports. The committee wants a three-year evaluation period to assess the government’s preparedness to implement the ban and to assess the need for separate regulation of vaping products. It said that e-cigarettes have “harm reduction” characteristics compared to combustible tobacco.
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New Zealand: Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), which represents 78 local, regional and unitary councils, has called on the government to limit retail availability of vaping products and impose proximity restrictions on vape stores. LGNZ president Stuart Crosby said: “We welcome the recent changes that include restrictions around the sale of vapes and advertising and sponsorship but vapes are still available in too many places in our communities.”
New Zealand: The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill, which would set a limit on vaping retailers and ban the sale of smokable tobacco products to anyone born after 1st January 2009, is now open for comment until 24th August.
Canada: Health Canada’s Tobacco Control Directorate has told ECigIntelligence there is no timetable for the adoption and implementation of the Order Amending Schedules 2 and 3 to the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act (Flavours), restricting vaping flavours and banning sweeteners, proposed last year. An official said the information may be included in the next update to the department’s Forward Regulatory Plan.
Germany: The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has updated the list of notified e-cigarette products, which now contains 273,422 vapour products. Only products notified at least six months ago are listed.
Denmark: The Danish Safety Agency seized a quantity of illegally flavoured e-cigarettes from five market stalls at the weekend following a tip-off. Since 1st April only tobacco and menthol flavours are allowed in Denmark. The agency announced that it will continue to make unannounced visits to markets and festivals over the summer to check if illegal e-cigs are being sold. It will also monitor social media and use artificial intelligence tools to identify products for sale online.
Morocco: The Haraki Group of members of the centre-right Popular Movement submitted a draft bill on e-cigarettes to the House of Representatives during a public session yesterday. According to press reports, the proposals include stricter rules on public vaping, health warnings on packaging, a ban on e-cig advertising and on their sale to minors. However, as the party holds only 28 of the 395 seats in the House, the bill is unlikely to gather sufficient support.
Vietnam: During a symposium yesterday on new tobacco products, the Ministry of Health objected to a proposal put forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade for a two-year pilot programme for trade in e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, press reports. Tran Thi Trang, deputy director of the health ministry’s legal department, said the pilot proposal came purely from a business perspective and has not been thoroughly studied from the point of view of public health.
UK - Wales: The Welsh government yesterday published its tobacco control strategy, aimed at reducing the adult (16+) smoking rate to 5% or less over the next eight years. One of the objectives is to work on discouraging the uptake of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products among teenagers and young people by 2030.
US - Federal: Matt Holman, director of the Office of Science at the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) is leaving immediately to join Philip Morris International (PMI), media reports. According to a memo from CTP director Brian King: “Holman has been on leave and has recused himself from all CTP and FDA work while exploring career opportunities outside government.” Holman leaves just as the CTP faces a series of major decisions, including a potential ban on menthol cigarettes, lowering nicotine levels, and the ongoing efforts to rein in Juul and other e-cigarettes.
New Zealand: The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill was approved at its first reading in Parliament. The bill is aimed primarily at reducing the number of retailers who can sell smoking products, while it also includes a ban on the sale of smoking products to anyone born on or after 1st January 2009. The bill is now with the Health Committee, which will prepare a report on it before submitting it for second reading. Commenting on the bill, associate health minister Ayesha Verall said she was not happy with the current rate of youth vaping, but added that vaping was a helpful “quit tool” and that its harm was “nowhere on the scale of tobacco”.
Malaysia: A much-discussed bill banning the sale of vaping products to people born in or after 2007 was tabled in Parliament today. The bill does not mention nicotine but defines a “smoking device” as “any electronic device or a battery-operated device or other device, which is used to heat, vaporise, or burn a tobacco product, smoking substance, or substitute tobacco product for smoking”. It defines a “smoking substance” as “any substance or combination of substance comprising of propylene glycol, glycerol, or triethylene glycol for the purpose of smoking”, including nicotine-free e-cigarettes. The bill equates vaping with smoking, and proposes penalties for the purchase, possession and use of vaping products by anyone born after 1st January 2007.
Philippines: The Bureau of Internal Revenue has published an updated list of registered manufacturers and importers of vapour products. According to the authority, any product not included in the list and that does not comply with regulations, such as the health warning requirements, is considered unauthorised.
Philippines: The Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation Bill (Vape Bill), which introduces further regulation of vaping and heated tobacco products, has lapsed into law after president Bongbong Marcos took no action on it. Among the new provisions is the lowering of the minimum purchasing and sale age to 18. The Department of Trade and Industry becomes the authority to set technical standards. The President’s Office is yet to release a copy of the law.
Europe: A period of consultation on amendments to the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation opened on Friday, 22nd July, and will run until 19th August. In summary, CLP “sets rules for classifying, labelling and packaging substances and mixtures. Annex VI lists notes that can be assigned to substances with harmonised classifications. These notes provide further instructions on how to classify and label these substances or mixtures containing them. This initiative assigns new notes (added to the CLP Regulation by a recent amendment) to certain substances.”
UK: Lancaster Magistrates Court has fined a store owner for selling nicotine vaping products to minors after a 14-year-old volunteer made a successful purchase in February, local press reports. In addition to a £184 fine, the retailer was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £34 and council costs of £200. County trading standards manager Angela Lomax said: “Lancashire trading standards will continue to undertake test purchasing operations relating to the whole range of products and services that are subject to age restrictions.”
Italy: The Lazio Administrative Tribunal (TAR) has temporarily suspended a decree introducing retroactive notification fees for vapour products due by 30th July following an appeal by the industry association Anafe. The judges said the Ministry of Health had enacted the decree more than five years after the deadline set by the decree transposing the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) into Italian law. The TAR will rule on the legitimacy of the decree on 18th November.
US - federal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has issued some more warning letters to manufacturers and distributors of e-liquids classed as “new tobacco products” without the required authorisation to remain on the market.
Thailand: Cannabis-based e-liquids will not be exempt from the ban on the import and sale of vaping products. The National Tobacco Products Control Committee has made clear that both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes with cannabis are banned, press reports.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin today tweeted that, after having taken into account all the opinions expressed in stakeholder engagement sessions, sales of vaping products will be banned to those born in or after 2007, rather than 2005 as previously reported. In a separate tweet, Khairy said the “Generational Endgame” bill will be tabled in Parliament next week.
UK: In response to a series of parliamentary questions, junior health minister Maggie Throup said the government was considering the recommendations of the Khan Review, “including measures to protect children and young people from starting vaping”. She added: “We are assessing options such as potential benefits of banning cartoon characters and images which are appealing to children and the merits of prohibiting free samples. We are also looking at flavours and the appeal for young people.”
United Arab Emirates: The Public Prosecution authority has published a warning on Instagram that the sale, distribution and promotion of tobacco products to under-18s is prohibited. Under the Electronic Nicotine Products standard, e-cigarettes are treated like traditional tobacco, so selling them to minors can lead to at least three months’ jail and a fine of no less than AED15,000 ($4,000) under Federal Law No. 03/2016 on child rights and Federal Law No. 15/2009 on tobacco control.
Egypt: The Ministry of Health and Population has tweeted a warning about e-cigarettes, which it says “do not help you quit smoking”. It adds: “E-cigarettes contain toxic substances that harm your health just like regular cigarettes.”
Italy: Prime minister Mario Draghi has submitted his resignation and dissolved Parliament after the right-wing parties withdrew their support in the Senate. The next elections are due in September 2023 and the far-right Brothers of Italy are currently ahead in the polls, followed by the Democratic Party, League and Five Star parties. In the past, right-wing parties have generally supported a more lenient regulatory approach to new nicotine products. Excise duties on vapour products, currently reduced by a law approved in February 2022, will rise to around €0.25 per ml for nicotine-containing e-liquids and around €0.20 per ml for those without nicotine unless the new government amends the existing legislation.
US - general: Chinese e-cigarette manufacturer JWEI has announced that it has submitted a premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a device it says focuses on safety and harm reduction and is designed to curb under-age use. The company said it had “embedded the comprehensive PMTA guideline into a set of coherent criteria for product development and study objectives”.
Switzerland: In a joint campaign with five other cantons, the Basel cantonal laboratory examined e-liquids for their nicotine content, prohibited ingredients and health warnings. After it was found that two thirds of the samples were not legally compliant, 44% were subjected to a sales ban for failings such as the nicotine content not being declared in the official language or chemicals being incorrectly classified. According to the health department, the high rate of non-compliance demonstrates that manufacturers and importers are not aware that the products come under the Federal Food Safety Act and the Chemicals Ordinance.
Jordan: The House of Representatives has referred a government-drafted bill of child rights to a joint committee of the Women and Family Affairs Committee and the Legal Committee. The bill proposes fines ranging from JOD 100 ($140) to JOD 300 ($420) for smoking or vaping in front of children, including by parents or family members. Vaping is considered to be smoking under Public Health Law No. 47/2008 and the Standards for tobacco and nicotine products, including electronic ones.
US - federal: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Robert Califf has ordered an external review of the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), citing a “series of challenges that have tested our regulatory frameworks and stressed the agency’s operations”.
US - general: Myblu vaping products will not be allowed to be sold in the US market while the court reviews a marketing denial order (MDO), as an appellate court has declined to issue an emergency stay for Fontem US in its challenge against an MDO handed down by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Israel: Health minister Nitzan Horowitz is considering further restricting the marketing of disposable e-cigarettes and raising the excise duty on them, due to their growing popularity among young people, press reports. He is reportedly considering requiring disturbing and impactful images on packaging to discourage purchase.
Malaysia: A poll of 40 members of Malaysia’s lower parliamentary chamber the Dewan Rakyat found only 12 said they would vote in favour of a bill banning the sale of vaping products to anyone born after 2005. Another 26 said they would decide how they would vote after the publication of the draft bill. The report by CodeBlue, a newspaper specialising in health matters, says most of those as yet uncommitted “appeared to lean towards opposing the tobacco bill in its current form, as they expressed various concerns with the proposed generational ban on tobacco and vape”.
Russia: The bill setting future tax rates has been adopted and published, increasing excise rates for e-liquids and e-cigarette devices in 2025 by 4%. Devices will be taxed at RUB 70 (€1.20), and e-liquids at RUB 20 (€0.34) per ml.
Czech Republic: The Ministry of Health has updated the publicly available list of notified herbal products for smoking, e-cigarettes and refill containers.
US - California: Attorney general Rob Bonta yesterday announced $22m in state funding for local government agencies to tackle the illegal sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, especially to minors. He said the Department of Justice’s Tobacco Grant Program would give local agencies “the funding they need to keep our children healthy and hold tobacco retailers accountable”. Any local agencies with authority to enforce tobacco-related state laws or local ordinances are eligible to apply.
US - general: Triton Distribution and Vapetasia, two manufacturers of flavoured e-liquids, were denied a review of the FDA’s marketing denial order (MDO) in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday, Bloomberg reports. Triton was granted a stay of execution last October, allowing the company to continue selling its flavoured e-cigarettes after receiving an MDO from the FDA in September, pending the resolution of the case. Earlier this year, when the court heard oral arguments, the questions put by the three-judge panel seemed to suggest one judge would be in favour of Triton’s case, while the other two questioned it.
EU: Tomorrow, 20th July, is the last day to submit feedback on the initiative to review the Council of the European Union’s 2009 recommendation on smoke-free environments. The initiative seeks to extend the recommendation to cover emerging products and to increase its scope to include additional outdoor spaces such as schools and playgrounds.
US - General: The anti-tobacco, anti-vaping Truth Initiative is calling on the FDA “to immediately remove all synthetic nicotine products now on the market illegally like Puff Bar, a top youth brand, and to only allow e-cigarettes that have been reviewed and meet the rigorous public health standards to remain on the market”. The group says the FDA should prioritise the review of tobacco-derived and synthetic nicotine e-cigarettes, as they are “most popular among youth”.
US - California: Millbrae City Council intends to prepare an ordinance that would prohibit the sale of flavoured tobacco products within the city, which lies in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a population of just over 23,000. Millbrae is in San Mateo County, where sales of flavoured tobacco products and e-cigarettes have been banned in unincorporated areas since 2018. The county intends to update its Tobacco Retailer Permit Ordinance to specifically include synthetic nicotine products and non-nicotine e-cigarettes and to place stipulations on where new retailers can be located. A Californian referendum over a state-wide flavour ban is still pending.