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Parliamentary questions
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11 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001821/2019

The Tobacco Products Directive(1) (‘the directive’) lays down rules concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products in the EU. It helps the smooth functioning of the internal market, while ensuring a high level of health protection, with a particular focus on young people.

Article 20 of the directive introduces a regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes with a focus on safety, quality, consumer protection and information as well as data collection(2). Restrictions on labelling, packaging and product presentation as well as on advertising and sponsorship apply to such products.

The directive does not, however, harmonise all aspects of electronic cigarettes or refill containers (e.g. rules on flavours and nicotine-free refill liquids remain a national competence).

The Commission continuously monitors developments related to e-cigarettes, including emerging scientific evidence. This information will contribute to the implementation report on the directive that the Commission is required to submit in 2021, in line with Article 28(1) of the directive. The Commission also facilitates information exchanges and best practices, working with Member States (e.g. Expert Group on Tobacco Policy(3), Subgroup on Electronic Cigarettes and the Joint Action on Tobacco Control(4)).

(1)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 (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 1).
(2)Further detail on specifics of Article 20 of the directive: It provides for a maximum limit of nicotine concentration (20 mg/ml), use of ingredients of high purity not posing a risk to human health in heated or unheated form and prohibition of certain additives in the nicotine containing liquid. Tanks and cartridges are limited to 2ml. Refill containers are limited to 10ml. Further, refill containers and electronic cigarettes must be child-resistant and tamper-proof, and they must be sold with instructions for their use and with health warnings.

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice