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Public Health (09-07-2010)

Public consultation: Addictiveness and Attractiveness of tobacco additives

Today, the Commission's independent Scientific Committee for Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) launches a public consultation on a pre-consultation opinion on the addictiveness and attractiveness of additives in tobacco products.

All interested parties are invited to submit their comments on the scientific basis and conclusions proposed by the SCENIHR by 5 September 2010.
Further details on the consultation can be found here

Today, tobacco additives, hardly used before 1970, represent up to 10% of a cigarette's weight. In response to a request from the European Parliament, the Commission has asked the SCENIHR to assess the role of additives and characteristics of tobacco products in tobacco take up and addiction. Limitations in approaches for assessing these issues will also be addressed in the opinion.

The SCENIHR has concluded that tobacco has a high addictive potential in humans, but it has been difficult to assess the addictiveness of individual additives. As of yet, no tobacco additive has been identified as being addictive in itself. However, it is thought that certain additives may enhance the addictiveness of nicotine indirectly. For example, menthol flavoured cigarettes may promote deeper inhalation. Another example is the use of certain flavours (e.g. fruit and candy) which may make the taste of tobacco products more pleasant and thus provoke smoking uptake in young people.

More information on SCENIHR and the European Commission's other independent Scientific Committees can be found here:
http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/policy/index_en.htm

More information on the Stakeholder Dialogue Procedure can be found in the Rules of Procedure of the Scientific Committees (Annex IV)