Saturday, May 18, 2024
HomeHealthRegulators in Europe are focusing on Big Tobacco's new tea sticks.

Regulators in Europe are focusing on Big Tobacco’s new tea sticks.

In an effort to plug the gaps that the manufacturers of the new zero-tobacco heat sticks were hoping to exploit, European governments are considering enacting stricter regulations on the product, which was only introduced a few months ago.

To combat an impending European Union ban on flavor-infused heated tobacco products, major tobacco companies, such as British American Tobacco and Philip Morris International, announced the release of the sticks late last year. The sticks are produced from things like rooibos tea that have been infused with nicotine.

The European Commission stated that it was presently reviewing the tobacco legislation in the EU and that any modifications would depend on the results of that review, a public comment period, and an effect analysis.

However, officials from the three nations informed Reuters that they are already trying to enact stricter laws to regulate the products: Latvia, Lithuania, and Croatia.

According to a spokesman for the health ministry, a proposed bill in Latvia would categorize zero-tobacco sticks as tobacco replacements and subject them to relevant rules. It would also ban all flavors other than tobacco starting in 2025.

A representative for Croatia’s health ministry concurred, saying, “We plan to regulate them in the future,” noting that they were potentially harmful to health and highly addictive. Requests for more information were not answered by the individual.

According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, internal discussions about the regulation of similar items are ongoing in Lithuania, but it was too soon to disclose what was being discussed.

A spokesman for the Federal Customs Authority said that German officials are at odds with certain manufacturers about whether the new items are covered by the country’s current tobacco tax rules.

In addition to pointing out that 15 EU member states have already implemented excise levies, BAT stated that it supports the implementation of evidence-based regulations and suitable excise taxes for its zero-tobacco sticks.

A spokesman for PMI stated that the organization also thinks that any substitute for cigarettes that contains nicotine should be properly regulated and priced, but that flavors are crucial in motivating adult users to give up smoking.

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