Today, the 20th of May 2016, the new Tobacco Products Directive enters into force. European Union Member States finally have clear guidance and requirements on electronic cigarettes, traceability, the use of additives in tobacco products and standardised packaging.
Electronic cigarettes are now regulated in the same way tobacco products are, improving their reliability and avoiding their unrestrained promotion while traceability provisions will allow to effectively fight smuggling.
The new Directive contains a specific ban on almost all flavouring: tobacco will taste of tobacco and not strawberry, chocolate or vanilla.
Regarding packaging, with the new Directive we will see an improvement in tobacco control through greater information on health effects and larger graphic warnings with clearer messages. Some countries such as Ireland, the UK and France have gone far beyond the minimum stipulation in the new Directive and have opted for plain packaging measures; others such as Hungary, Belgium and Slovenia have announced that they are following suit.