Notification Detail

Draft Act restricting the use of tobacco and related products

Notification Number: 2016/135/SI (Slovenia)
Date received: 16/03/2016
End of Standstill: 17/06/2016 ( 19/09/2016)

Issue of detailed opinion by: Bulgaria,Czech Republic,Greece,Italy,Portugal,Romania,Slovakia
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Message 002

Communication from the Commission - TRIS/(2016) 00836
Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Translation of the message 001
Notification: 2016/0135/SI

No abre el plazo - Nezahajuje odklady - Fristerne indledes ikke - Kein Fristbeginn - Viivituste perioodi ei avata - Καμμία έναρξη προθεσμίας - Does not open the delays - N'ouvre pas de délais - Non fa decorrere la mora - Neietekmē atlikšanu - Atidėjimai nepradedami - Nem nyitja meg a késéseket - Ma’ jiftaħx il-perijodi ta’ dawmien - Geen termijnbegin - Nie otwiera opóźnień - Não inicia o prazo - Neotvorí oneskorenia - Ne uvaja zamud - Määräaika ei ala tästä - Inleder ingen frist - Не се предвижда период на прекъсване - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare.

(MSG: 201600836.EN)

1. Structured Information Line
MSG 002 IND 2016 0135 SI EN 16-03-2016 SI NOTIF


2. Member State
SI


3. Department Responsible
Slovenski institut za standardizacijo, Contact point, Smartinska 152, SI – 1000 Ljubljana
tel: +386 1 478 3065, fax: +386 1 478 3098, e-mail: contact@sist.si


3. Originating Department
Ministrstvo za zdravje, Direktorat za javno zdravje, Štefanova 5, 1000 Ljubljana, T: 386 1 478 6854, e-mail:natasa.blazko@gov.si


4. Notification Number
2016/0135/SI - X40M


5. Title
Draft Act restricting the use of tobacco and related products


6. Products Concerned
Tobacco products.


7. Notification Under Another Act
-


8. Main Content
The aim of the draft Act restricting the use of tobacco and related products (hereinafter referred to ‘the draft act’) is to introduce a comprehensive and effective system of control over the use of tobacco and to transpose the provisions of Directive 2014/40/EU into Slovenian legislation. In doing so, it aims to achieve a high level of public health and consumer protection, reduce the accessibility and use of tobacco, tobacco products and related products among young people and have better control over the packaging and traceability of tobacco, tobacco products and related products. One of the measures to be introduced within the set goals is plain packaging for cigarettes and rolling tobacco.
In Slovenia, 10 people die each day (i.e. 3 600 per year) as a consequence of illnesses attributed to smoking tobacco; 900 die before the age of 60. In Slovenia, tobacco is the main preventable cause of death among various health risk factors. Nearly 25 % of Slovenians aged between 15 and 64 are smokers (men more than women). Between 2008 and 2012, the share of smokers increased due to the increase in the number of female smokers, whereas the number of male smokers remained unchanged. Among young people, 40 % of 15 year olds have tried smoking. Nearly one in eight 15 year olds smoke at least once a week or more, with no difference between genders. In the period of 2010–2014, the prevalence of smoking among young people aged 11, 13 and 15 has dropped. This is most likely attributed to the increase in tobacco product prices in the period of 2012–2014, since youngsters are more sensitive to prices than adults, the introduction in 2007 of a smoking ban in enclosed public and work places, and preventive programmes conducted in this age group.
By introducing plain packaging, the aim is to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products, especially among young people and women, improve the effectiveness of health warnings on packaging, and limit the possibilities of misleading consumers by means of various labels, colours and materials used in the manufacture of tobacco product packaging. Due to the increased limitation of tobacco product advertising, packaging has become an important part of the tobacco industry's marketing strategy and represents a communication between manufacturers and consumers. Unlike the packaging of other products which the consumer discards after opening, a box of cigarettes remains with the smoker for a long time and is used several times a day. The packaging is visible each time, not only to the smoker, but also the public.
In May 2014, the Ministry of Health conducted the ‘Public opinion poll regarding support for measures in the field of tobacco and alcohol’ [Raziskava javnega mnenja o podpori ukrepov na področju tobaka in alkohola], which showed a high level of support for tobacco control measures. The introduction of packaging without any attractive elements for the consumer, e.g. attractive pictures, symbols, colours and the shape of the packaging, is supported by 72.5 % of respondents. Support for these measures is lower among young people aged 18 to 34 (64.6 %), which points to the fact that the appearance of tobacco product packaging is very important to this age group.
The latest Eurobarometer research on attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco, conducted in the period 2012–2014, has shown for Slovenia that 30 % of respondents are smokers (more men than women). The greatest percentage of smokers is among those aged 25 to 39 (42 %), closely followed by young people aged 15 to 24 (34 %). 57 % of respondents started smoking between the age of 15 and 18. Tobacco product packaging is important to 19 % of respondents, the shape of an actual cigarette is important to 24 %, and the cigarette brand is important to 57 %. 54 % expressed support for the introduction of plain packaging.
Based on the results of the poll, it is evident that most smokers start smoking when young and that in this period, the appearance of the tobacco product packaging is the most important for consumers. Support for the introduction of plain packaging is the lowest among those aged 18 to 34. According to Slovenian public opinion, general support for the introduction of plain packaging is high (72 or 54 %).
Slovenia, as a Party to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, is committed to respecting and implementing its provisions. Implementation guidelines in paragraph 46 of Article 11 of the Convention recommend that the Parties introduce plain tobacco product packaging. Also, Article 24(2) of Directive 2014/40/EU enables a Member State to maintain or introduce further requirements, applicable to all products placed on its market, in relation to the standardisation of the packaging of tobacco products, where it is justified on grounds of public health. Thus, in accordance with the provisions of the Convention and the Directive, Slovenia aims to reduce the attractiveness of these products by introducing plain packaging for cigarettes and rolling tobacco, and thus reduce the prevalence of smoking, especially among young people and women.
The Australian Department of Health has issued a report on the impacts of introducing plain packaging (https://ris.govspace.gov.au/2016/02/26/tobacco-plain-packaging/), in which it is stated that the measure has achieved the planned results in terms of improving public health and that it will have further positive impacts in the long term. It is noted in the report that in the observed period of 34 months before and after the measure was introduced, the prevalence of smoking among residents older than 14 dropped by 2.2 % (from 19.4 % to 17.2 %). Based on the calculations, it was established that a quarter of the impact can be attributed to the introduction of plain packaging. In addition to plain packaging, Australia has introduced other tobacco control measures, such as larger graphic warnings and increasing the tax on tobacco products.
Based on the analysis of the conducted research, it is noted in the report that after the introduction of plain packaging, there has been an increase in the number of smokers who notice graphic health warnings and consequently think more about the harmful effects smoking has on their health. Smokers more frequently think about quitting and hide their cigarette packets from others, especially children.
Research has shown a decrease in the number of adult Australian smokers (from 22.4 % in 2001 to 14.5 % in 2015). In the period of 2011–2015, the number of residents who smoke daily has dropped from 2.8 million to 2.6 million in 2015. The number of cigarettes smoked has also fallen from 111 to 96 a week. The prevalence of smoking among 14 year olds is falling (currently at 12.8 %, the lowest so far), and has also fallen among people aged 18 and over (currently 13.3 %).
There has been an increase in the number of people who have never smoked (i.e. from 58 % in 2010 to 60 % in 2013). The average age that a young person starts to smoke has increased (from 15.4 in 2010 to 15.9 in 2013).
With the new Act restricting the use of tobacco and related products, Slovenia wishes to regulate this field in a comprehensive manner, lower the use of tobacco products among residents and improve the control over the sale of said products. We remain faithful to the view that we expressed on several occasions in the process of transposing Directive 2014/40/EU, i.e. to protect public health, the most stringent measures must be introduced in order to reduce the risks associated with using tobacco products. We believe that introducing a plain packaging is an effective measure that will help reduce the use of tobacco products and de-normalise smoking in Slovenian society.


9. Brief Statement of Grounds
Articles 17, 18 and 19 of the draft act, governing plain packaging, lay down the appearance and content of cigarette packs, individual cigarettes and the appearance and content of rolling tobacco pouches. The shape, material, colour and characteristics of text that may appear on the outside or inside of the tobacco product packaging are defined. For individual cigarettes, the colour and characteristics of text that may be printed on a cigarette are also defined.
The conditions regarding the appearance and content of individual cigarette packets, rolling tobacco pouches and individual cigarettes will be prescribed by Minister for Health in the form of Rules.


10. Reference Documents - Basic Texts
Reference(s) to basic text(s): - Act restricting the use of tobacco products (Uradni List RS (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia) No 93/07)
- Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products and repealing Directive 2001/37/EC


11. Invocation of the Emergency Procedure
No


12. Grounds for the Emergency
-


13. Confidentiality
No


14. Fiscal measures
No


15. Impact assessment
-


16. TBT and SPS aspects
TBT aspect

Yes

SPS aspect

No - the draft has no significant impact on international trade.

**********
European Commission

Contact point Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Fax: +32 229 98043
email: grow-dir83-189-central@ec.europa.eu

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