Determination of characterising flavours in tobacco products
The Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) prohibits the placing on the market of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with a characterising flavour. In order to facilitate the implementation of this provision, set out in Article 7 of the Directive, the Commission has adopted two implementing acts establishing the rules and mechanism for determining products with characterising flavours:
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/779 of 18 May 2016 laying down uniform rules as regards the procedures for determining whether a tobacco product has a characterising flavour
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/786 of 18 May 2016 laying down the procedure for the establishment and operation of an independent advisory panel assisting Member States and the Commission in determining whether tobacco products have a characterising flavour.
In developing the implementing legislation, the Commission has been supported by an external contractor, the Health Effects Tobacco Composition (HETOC) consortium in the context of a specific service contract. The task of HETOC was to assess existing approaches potentially suitable to determine characterising flavours in tobacco products and to develop and test a methodology for the identification of such flavours. The final report of the project can be found here.
In line with the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) and Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/786, an Independent Advisory Panel has been established assisting Member States and the Commission in determining whether or not a tobacco product has a characterising flavour. This Panel may request input from a technical group of sensory and chemical assessors established via a public procurement procedure.