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Mongolia: Deputy finance minister Sanjaa Mungunchimeg has said a draft law to impose a tax on e-cigarettes is ready, press reports. She added that the bill would be submitted to Parliament and the government separately from the budget amendment that is currently under discussion.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong police have arrested two people for violating the ban on selling alternative smoking products. Officers seized 94 boxes of suspected nicotine-containing e-cigarette cartridges and 74 “smoking devices” during the operation in Mong Kok, press reports. They were reportedly the first arrests under the ban, which came into effect on Saturday.
US - Colorado: House Bill 22-1064 was approved by the state House yesterday and sent to the Senate for consideration, local media reports. The bill would prohibit the distribution of flavoured cigarettes, tobacco or nicotine products, including those containing synthetic nicotine. Since its introduction, the bill has been changed to exempt hookahs, premium cigars and pipe tobacco.
US - Federal: New warning letters have been issued by the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) to a number of manufacturers and distributors of e-liquid products that are “new tobacco products” without the required marketing authorisation.
Sweden: The right-wing Sweden Democrats, the Centre Party and the Left Party have all presented motions against the government’s proposed Stricter rules for new nicotine products (Proposition 2021/22: 200), questioning the suggested ban on non-tobacco-flavoured e-liquids. The parties say banning flavours would make it harder for people to switch from smoking to a less harmful alternative and that a market study on the consequences of such a ban should be undertaken.
Sweden: The Public Health Agency has updated the publicly available list of notified e-cigarettes and refill containers, which contains 11,909 vapour products.
US - Hawaii: House Bill 1570 passed its final reading yesterday on a 36-15 vote. The bill to ban the sale of all flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, combustible menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars, has now been passed by both chambers of the Legislature and requires only the signature of governor David Ige to become law.
US - Maryland: Anne Arundel Public Schools, one of the largest school districts in Maryland, is bringing a suit against Juul Labs, alleging its products are marketed to students and claiming gross negligence by the company, media reports. ”You’ve created this whole generation of young people who are now addicted to nicotine because it delivers four to five times the nicotine of a cigarette,” Anne Arundel Schools attorney Phil Federico said.
Thailand: Digital economy and society minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn has submitted a petition to the National Tobacco Products Control Committee calling on it to legalise e-cigarettes, press reports. Chaiwut said e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to traditional tobacco and should be regulated as cigarettes. He also highlighted that legalising them would bring in added tax revenue.
Hong Kong: Hong Kong Customs reports a major operation to combat illicit heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, with products with an estimated market value of $15m seized in the past month. The Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into effect on Saturday, 30th April, banning production, import, sales and promotion of heat-not-burn (HnB) and vaping products, subject to a fine of up to $50,000 and up to six months’ jail.
Canada: Health Canada’s consultation on the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act ends tomorrow, 27th April. The government has outlined five objectives for vaping products – restricting access to e-cigarettes, preventing misconceptions about the health hazards of vaping, enhancing public awareness of those hazards, preventing initiation into vaping, and protecting people from exposure to vaping. Final submissions can be sent to email@example.com.
EU: EU officials have told ECigIntelligence that at present there are no planned or proposed measures to phase out non-rechargeable portable batteries. However, a possible ban on single-use batteries under the revision of EU rules on batteries and waste – which would affect disposable products such as pods – is expected to be examined by 31st December 2027, when the Commission assesses the feasibility of such a measure and submits a recommendation to the European Parliament and Council.
UK: In response to a parliamentary question, junior environment minister Jo Churchill said no specific assessment had been made of the number of vape pens that go to landfill. She reiterated that the government plans to consult on reforms to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations later this year.
California: San Diego City Council voted 7-2 at a special meeting yesterday to approve the SAAFE (Stop Adolescent Addiction to Flavored E-cigarettes) Act, which would prohibit the sale of all flavoured tobacco and e-cigarette products in the city, local media reports. The issue will come before the council again in 30 days.
Brazil: National Public Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) director Cristiane Jourdan has told media there is not yet enough evidence for the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes or heated tobacco for them to be approved for use. However, she added that studies were at an early stage and that potential additional measures mentioned in the regulatory report published earlier this month, such as an advertising ban, were awaiting a final decision. ANVISA is taking technical and scientific evidence about the products until 11th May.
Thailand: Health minister and deputy prime minister Anutin Charnvirakul has told the Thai Health Promotion Foundation that he will not support the legalisation of e-cigarettes, press reports. The minister has established a tobacco control panel under the Department of Disease Control to review the current regulations, in the belief that e-cigs have become popular with young people in Thailand.
Malaysia: Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin reportedly said last week that the 15% import duty on nicotine gum products, to be imposed from 1st June, should either reduced or cancelled, describing them as a good smoking cessation tool. This liberal policy towards nicotine gum would be in contrast to the legal framework for nicotine-containing vaping products, marketing of which is currently subject to a pharmaceutical licence. The government is planning to ban the sale of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to anyone born after 2005.
US - California: On today’s agenda for San Diego City Council was Item 600, the approval of the SAAFE (Stop Adolescent Addiction to Flavored E-cigarettes) Act, which would prohibit the sale of flavoured tobacco products in the city. If passed, the ban will include all flavours but for tobacco from 1st January 2023.
UK: A Westminster Hall debate will be held tomorrow, 26th April, on the progress towards the government’s smokefree 2030 ambition.