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.
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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.
Netherlands: The Ministry of Health, Wellbeing and Sport has confirmed to ECigIntelligence that legislation to prohibit e-cigarette flavours other than tobacco flavour is being prepared and should be published for consultation this summer. The new law, expected to come into effect in early 2023, will allow a limited list of taste-determining additives.
US - Maine: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has issued a public statement praising Brunswick Town Council after it passed an ordinance on Tuesday prohibiting the sale of flavoured tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, from 1st June. The pressure group is urging the state legislature to enact a state-wide flavour ban by passing bill LD 1550.
US - New York: Assembly Bill 9879 has been introduced, which would make it illegal for anyone under 21 to possess vaping or tobacco products. Their sale to under-21s is already prohibited.
UK: Health secretary Sajid Javid has told Parliament that the independent review of tobacco control, headed by Javed Khan, should be published in May.
Germany: The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) will hold a seminar on “Chances and risks of e-cigarettes” in Berlin and online on 28th and 29th April. The event aims to discuss the current state of knowledge on e-cigarettes, including flavouring and consumer protection.
US - federal: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be required to give premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) status reports every 90 days according to a revised judicial order, media reports. The revised order, signed on Friday by judge Paul Grimm of the US District Court for the District of Maryland, requires the FDA to “forecast the percentages of such products for which it expects to have taken ‘action’ by June 2022 and quarterly thereafter”.
US - General: A settlement has been reached between Juul Labs and the state of Washington, by which Juul has agreed to pay $22.5m. The lawsuit claimed Juul broke the law by marketing its products to appeal to minors and also deceived consumers over the addictiveness of the product. Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson said Juul would not only have to pay, but also ”stop its unlawful conduct and implement a slate of reforms, including: Stopping all its advertising that appeals to youth; Stopping most social media promotion; Accurately marketing the content and effects of the nicotine in its products; Strict practices to confirm the age of consumers who purchase Juul products”.
US - federal: Today, April 14th, is the first deadline in the new federal legislation on synthetic nicotine. Fropm today, new synthetic nicotine products may not enter the market without first obtaining a PMTA. Further, synthetic nicotine versions of tobacco-derived nicotine products whose PMTAs have been denied may not be be marketed.
Chile: The Public Health Institute (ISP) has warned against the use of e-cigarettes, with a reminder that those containing nicotine are illegal in Chile as the ISP has not granted the required pharmaceutical status to any such product. The institute also says nicotine-free vaping products pose multiple health risks.
Finland: The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has confirmed to ECigIntelligence that an amendment to the Tobacco Act was yesterday approved by president Sauli Niinistö. The amendment introduces uniform packaging for e-cigarettes from 1st May 2023 and extends smoke-free and vape-free environments from 1st May 2022.
Netherlands: The e-cigarette flavour ban that was to be introduced on 1st July has been put back six months, the trade association Esigbond reports. The ban will only allow sales of tobacco-flavoured vaping products. Its postponement comes after the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) drew up a list of approved flavourings, which Esigbond says included two – isophorone and pyridine – that are known to be carcinogenic.
Portugal: Following the rejection by Parliament of the first State Budget, prime minister António Costa’s new government today presented a new Budget, with a proposed 1% increase in tax on nicotine e-liquids, from from €0.32 to €0.323 per ml still intact. Parliament still needs to approve the new budget, which is expected to happen by the end of May.
US - Federal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several new warning letters to manufacturers and distributors of e-liquid products that are “new tobacco products” without the required FDA marketing authorisation to remain in the market.
Italy: The Council of State will hold a hearing on 21st June on the fate of e-liquids without tax stamps that remain unsold, media reports. In January, following a lawsuit filed by e-cigarette manufacturer Smooke France in July 2021, the Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) of Lazio overturned a Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) circular from March 2021 which ordered the disposal of all e-liquids without tax stamps from 1st January 2022; the ADM then appealed against that decision to the Council of State, Italy's highest administrative court.
Netherlands: The vape stores’ trade association Esigbond has complained about sales of illegal disposable e-cigarettes in non-specialist shops, markets and online, media reports. It warns that these products are unregistered, often have too high nicotine levels, and lack Dutch health warnings on the packaging. It says the products are being promoted on social media and calls for their sale to be stopped immediately.
UK: Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police have seized 4,500 disposables with excessive nicotine levels and 420 counterfeit e-cigarettes from a souvenir shop in London’s Oxford Street, press reports.
China: The State Administration for Market Regulation and the National Standardisation Administration today published the approved mandatory national standard on e-cigarettes, which will be implemented from 1st October. Along the lines of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), the standard will impose a nicotine cap of 20 mg and limit the size of refills to 20 ml.
US - Arkansas: Senate Bill 45 is advancing through the legislative process. It would raise from 19 to 21 the legal age to purchase, sell, exchange, or possess tobacco, nicotine products or any “electronic smoking product”, and ban their online sale. It would also levy a tax on all nicotine-containing electronic smoking products at 75% of their wholesale price.
Russia: Members of the State Duma have proposed a moratorium on mandatory traceability labelling of goods until 1st January 2028, media reports. If adopted, this would affect the traceability labelling of heated tobacco consumables, which become mandatory on 1st March. It might also delay the future mandatory labelling of e-liquids, cartridges and closed e-cigarette systems, which are currently subject to a voluntary traceability labelling experiment that is supposed to run until 28th February 2023.
US - Federal: The FDA has issued Marketing Denial Orders (MDO) to Fontem for several e-cigarette products in the company’s Myblu line, saying their applications lacked sufficient evidence to show that permitting the marketing of them would be appropriate for the protection of the public health. Specifically, the agency did not find the benefits significantly outweighed the risk to youth. Aside from the MDOs to products listed in the publicly available Deemed New Tobacco Product Application List, the FDA has also issued MDOs to additional Myblu products that do not appear in the list, because it will only publicly name products that are confirmed as being currently on the market.