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OJ L 50 of 27.2.2010

Eu agreement to regulate e-cigarettes under tobacco directive –

Buy electronic cigarette

The European Union has reached agreement on the regulation of e cigarettes, the final outstanding feature in the new Tobacco Directive.

EU member states have agreed to include e cigarettes into the scope of the directive. Member States which regulate e cigarettes as pharma products will be able to continue doing so.

It was agreed that there would be a maximum permitted nicotine concentration level of 20 mg/ml. Use of refillable cartridges for e cigarettes will be allowed and the maximum size of the single use cartridges will be 2 ml.

Strict safeguards were introduced allowing the Commission to ban via delegated acts certain electronic cigarettes or refill containers which are banned on justified ground by at least three member states.

The EU initiated the review of the Tobacco Directive after having considered the pressing need to reduce smoking among youth, decrease the number of smoking related diseases, tackle the illegal trade, regulate marketing and advertising of tobacco products to discourage the public from smoking.

The purpose of the directive is to approximate the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the ingredients and emissions of tobacco products and related reporting obligations including the maximum yields for tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide for cigarettes certain aspects of the labelling and packaging of tobacco products including the health warnings to appear on unit packets of tobacco products and any outside packaging as well as traceability and security features to ensure compliance with this Directive the prohibition to place on the market tobacco for oral use and the notification obligation for novel tobacco products.

Some core elements of the agreement include

Prohibition of placing on the market of tobacco products with a characterizing flavours transitory period of four years for mentholated tobacco products, which will be banned of summer 2020 Combined health warnings which shall cover 65 % of the external area of both the front and back surface of the unit packet and any outside packaging.

Significantly in the context of the John Dalli controversy, tobacco for oral use (Snus) remains banned in the EU, except for Sweden.