Press Release

Minister for Health Simon Harris signs European Tobacco Products Directive into Irish law

The Minister for Health Simon Harris T.D., has signed the Regulations transposing the Tobacco Products Directive into Irish law.  The European Union (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco and Related Products) Regulations 2016 come into force today, 20 May 2016.

The Regulations provide for more stringent rules for tobacco and related products and, from a public health perspective, focuses on limiting their appeal, in particular to young people.  The Regulations include measures for labelling, ingredients, tracking and tracing, cross border distance sales and the regulation of electronic cigarettes, refill containers, herbal products for smoking and novel tobacco products.

More than ten years have passed since the adoption of the first Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC)  making it necessary at EU level to bring it in line with market, scientific and international developments in the tobacco sector.  The aim of the Directive is to harmonise laws on tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, to facilitate the smooth functioning of the internal market while assuring a high level of public health protection. [Irish presidency]

The Regulations include the following measures: –

  • A ban on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with characterising flavours such as fruit flavours, menthol or vanilla;
  • A  ban on tobacco products containing certain additives;
  • A ban on any misleading labelling (such as “natural” or “organic”);
  • Increased size for combined health warnings and a requirement to place them on the front and back of the product;
  • Additional reporting requirements for tobacco products;
  • Notification requirements for electronic cigarettes, refill containers, herbal and novel tobacco products;
  • Registration requirement for cross-border distance sales of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or refill containers;
  • Introduction of a tracking and tracing system;
  • Regulation of electronic cigarettes and refill containers;
  • Stricter rules on advertising/sponsorship for electronic cigarettes and refill containers;
  • Mandatory safety and quality requirements for electronic cigarettes and refill containers;

The Minister in welcoming these Regulations stated “These measures will further complement the tobacco control initiatives already in place and will help to drive down consumption of tobacco and protect public health. I also welcome the clarity provided on the regulation of e-cigarettes, which will give confidence to users in the safety and efficacy of these products”.

“In the area of tobacco control, I am delighted to hear that the UK Government has successfully defended their Standardised Packaging legislation in the courts.  I look forward to progressing our Standardised Packaging Regulations in the near future”.

ENDS

Note for Editors:

Transposing the Tobacco Products Directive will improve the functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products, while ensuring a high level of health protection for Irish citizens.

The Regulations include a number of measures as such: –

  • A ban on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with characterising flavours such as fruit flavours, menthol or vanilla;
  • A  ban on tobacco products containing certain additives;
  • A ban on any misleading labelling (such as “natural” or “organic”);
  • Increased size for combined health warnings and a requirement to place them on the front and back of the product;
  • Additional reporting requirements for tobacco products;
  • Notification requirements for electronic cigarettes, refill containers, herbal and novel tobacco products;
  • Registration requirement for cross-border distance sales of tobacco products, electronic cigarettes or refill containers;
  • Introduction of a tracking and tracing system;
  • Regulation of electronic cigarettes and refill containers;
  • Stricter rules on advertising/sponsorship for electronic cigarettes and refill containers;
  • Mandatory safety and quality requirements for electronic cigarettes and refill containers;

Certain provisions of the Public Health (Standardised Packaging of Tobacco) Act 2015 have been commenced in order to the transpose the measures relating to Articles 13 and 14 of the Directive.

S.I. no. 271 of 2016

S.I. no. 270 of 2016