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Public Health (29-01-2016)

SCENIHR final Opinion on Additives used in tobacco products

Today, the European Commission and its independent Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) publish their final Opinion on Additives used in tobacco products.

This is the first of two Opinions on this topic. It was requested by the Commission to help with identifying additives that should be placed on the priority list foreseen in the Tobacco Products Directive.

The SCENIHR identified 48 single chemicals to be placed on the priority list. These compounds were selected because they have or are suspected to have one or more of the following properties:

  • toxicity in unburned form (including carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction)
  • facilitating inhalation or increasing nicotine uptake, which may contribute to addictiveness
  • characterising flavour, one of the factors potentially contributing to attractiveness
  • formation of any kind of toxic chemicals after combustion

The full list and details about how and why single compounds were selected for the priority list can be found in the Opinion.

The second Opinion, to be published later this year, aims to help with the development of guidelines for types of studies and their criteria that should be requested by manufacturers to assess the relevance of the individual additives.

Background

In 2014 the EU adopted the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) strengthening the rules on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products.

Article 7 of Directive 2014/40/EU foresees the prohibition of tobacco products with particular types of additives, e.g. vitamins, caffeine or taurine, additives with colouring properties for emissions, and additives that facilitate inhalation or nicotine. Moreover, in line with Article 6 the Commission has to develop and update a priority list of at least 15 additives contained in cigarettes and roll your own tobacco by May 2016. This first scientific Opinion identifies the additives that should be put on the priority list.

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