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.
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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.
Taiwan: About 97% of parents who responded to a survey conducted by the National Alliance of Parents Organisations would like all novel tobacco products to be banned, along with e-cigarettes, press reports. The organisation estimated that 73,000 teenagers in Taiwan use e-cigarettes and "similar products". A bill to explicitly ban e-cigarettes and regulate heated tobacco is currently at the final enactment stage.
Brazil: The National Public Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) will be receiving technical and scientific evidence about e-cigarettes and heated tobacco from 11th April to 11th May to help it analyse the impact of regulation. Any interested party can offer evidence. The agency has also published a report suggesting the current prohibition should be maintained, and that educational campaigns should be implemented, aimed particularly at young people. Any firm decisions will come later.
Mexico: The Senate has approved a decree amending the Customs Duty Act in order to prohibit the importation of e-cigarettes, both with and without nicotine. The decree has been submitted to the Chamber of Deputies for further approval.
France: The National Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health Safety (ANSES) has published an updated list of notified e-cigarettes, which includes 76,309 products.
US - federal: Senate majority leader Dick Durbin has revealed that he spoke yesterday with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Robert Califf about what he called “the agency’s delay in comprehensively regulating the e-cigarette marketplace to protect public health”. Durbin said he urged the FDA to conclude the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) review for e-cigarettes, now past the seven-month court-ordered deadline.
Malaysia: A bill banning sales of vaping products to anyone born after 2005 will be discussed tomorrow by a parliamentary Special Committee on Health, Science and Innovation before it is introduced to Parliament in July, press reports. Tomorrow's discussion will be the first of a series of committee proceedings to review the wording of the bill and its implementation plans, while taking into account the different views from all relevant parties.
US - Colorado: The Finance Committee held a hearing yesterday on House Bill 22-1064, which would prohibit the distribution of flavoured cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products, including those containing synthetic nicotine. Opponents of the bill, which was introduced early this year, argue that the pre-kindergarten (pre-K) program would take a big funding hit as it is currently supported by the state nicotine tax, following a 2020 ballot vote. Democrat representative Kyle Mullica said: “We always run that risk when we want to fund these important programs off of taxes like this that are vices. I think hopefully we start maybe getting away from that because I don’t think that’s probably the most appropriate way to fund these programs.”
Malaysia: The Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs today issued an order on Trade Descriptions (Certification and Marking of Electronic Cigarette Device). The order, which will come into force on 3rd August, requires manufacturers and importers of e-cigarette devices and their components to apply to the testing and inspections agency SIRIM QAS International for a certificate of compliance with the Malaysian standard before placing them on the market. Each compliant product will then be marked as such. The order does not apply to e-liquids.
Bulgaria: The Council of Ministers has agreed to introduce an excise duty for vaping products in order to cut usage, media reports. The exact figures have not yet been released, but the new tax is planned to come into force in July.
Pennsylvania: House Bill 2466 has been introduced, which would include “electronic smoking devices” – “An electronic device that contains or delivers nicotine or another substance to an individual inhaling from the device” – within the definition of “smoking” for purposes of the Clean Indoor Air Act. This legislation would also give all localities the right to enact smoke-free ordinances that are more protective than current state law.
Italy: The Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has issued a circular listing the new excise duty rates on e-liquids that apply until the end of the year. As of 1st April, nicotine-containing liquids will be subject to duty of €0.131303 per ml, while the rate for those without nicotine is €0.087535 per ml.
UK: Junior health minister Maggie Throup told MPs during a debate on “Smoke-free England” that the government’s tobacco control plan would be published later this year. She added: “The new plan will set out a comprehensive package of new policy proposals and regulatory change.”
Lithuania: The Ministry of Health, along with the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department (NTAKD), has presented a draft National Agenda on drug, tobacco and alcohol control, prevention of drug sse and drug-related harm up tol 2035 to the Seimas (parliament) Committee for Addiction Prevention. The plan aims to reduce the supply of tobacco and related products through policies based on scientific studies, improving excise duties, raising awareness of the effects of smuggling on the public budget, regulating emerging products promptly, and strengthening advertising restrictions.
South Africa: The libertarian think think the Free Market Foundation is reportedly concerned that the government’s plans for regulating vaping products will push more people back toward smoking and to buying from the black market. The South African Treasury’s director for economic tax analysis, Chris Axelson, told press that a flat tax rate based on e-liquid volume, regardless of nicotine concentration, had been agreed in principle. He said the Treasury would draft a bill aiming to have a tax in force from 1st January 2023.
Spain: The Ministry of Health has told the press that a draft amendment to the tobacco control law will shortly be finalised. Although the exact content of the proposal is not yet known, it is expected to include a ban on the use of tobacco products, including heated tobacco and e-cigarettes, in places such as outdoor terraces, beaches, and in private cars. It is also reported that plain packaging is to be introduced, although it is unclear for which products. It remains uncertain what other restrictions might be applied to heat-not-burn (HnB) products and e-cigarettes and whether nicotine pouches are to be included. Lastly, the press reports that prices will be raised, however, it is again unclear which products will be affected.
US - Maine: There is still an ongoing dispute between proponents and opponents of Legislature bill LD 1550, which was introduced last year, local media reports. The bill would ban the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in any flavour other than tobacco.
Canada - New Brunswick: A judge will give a decision tomorrow, 31st March, on a bid by a group of vape stores to suspend the province’s ban on flavoured e-cigarettes, introduced in September 2021, local media reports. The plaintiffs are also seeking to halt a requirement for vape stores to obtain a licence, due to come into force on Friday, 1st April.
US - Texas: Houston City Council will today consider a proposal that would add vaping to the city’s existing ban on smoking in public spaces, local media reports. Quality of Life Committee chairman Robert Gallegos yesterday urged his colleagues to support the proposal. The original ordinance, passed in 2006, bans smoking in enclosed public places, within 25 ft of a public building’s entrance or exit, and other public areas, including outdoor seating areas and covered public transport facilities.
EU: The European Commission has launched an initiative to evaluate the progress made under Directive 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment, which applies to e-cigarette devices. The Commission’s recommendations are planned for adoption in the third quarter of 2023.
Switzerland: Stakeholders have until tomorrow to comment on the Federal Council consultation on a partial revision of the Tobacco Tax Act, which would set a tax on e-liquids 77% lower than that on combustible cigarettes. The Federal Department of Finance told ECigIntelligence it would revise the preliminary draft based on the results of the consultation. The draft will then be discussed in Parliament. The changes are not expected to come into force before mid/late 2023.
Germany: The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has updated the list of notified e-cigarette products, which now contains 254,020 vapour products. Only products notified at least six months ago are listed.