Tobacco

Product regulation

The Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) entered into force on 19 May 2014 and became applicable in EU countries on 20 May 2016. The Directive lays down rules governing the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. These include cigarettes, roll your own tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes and herbal products for smoking.

In particular, the Directive:

  • prohibits cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with characterising flavours,
  • requires the tobacco industry to report to EU countries on the ingredients used in tobacco products,
  • requires health warnings on tobacco and related products. Combined (picture, text and information on how to stop) health warnings must cover 65% of the front and back of cigarette and roll-your-own tobacco packages,
  • sets minimum dimensions for warnings and prohibits small packages for certain tobacco products,
  • bans promotional and misleading elements on tobacco products, e-cigarettes and herbal products for smoking,
  • introduces EU-wide tracking and tracing to combat the illicit trade of tobacco products,
  • allows EU countries to prohibit internet sales of tobacco and related products,
  • sets out safety, quality and notification requirements for electronic cigarettes, and
  • obliges manufacturers and importers to notify EU countries about novel tobacco products before placing them on the EU market.