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Parliamentary questions
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9 January 2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-009191/2016

The Commission is closely monitoring the developments related to new tobacco products, including ‘heated not burned’ tobacco products.

Currently, there is lack of evidence relating to short-term and long-term health effects and use patterns of these products. Therefore the Commission is in favour of a cautious approach.

At the same time, the Commission would like to underline that with regard to the sale, presentation and manufacturing of these products within the European Union, the relevant provisions of the Tobacco Products Directive(1) apply and should be enforced. This includes the ban on misleading elements foreseen by Article 13 and notably any suggestions that a particular tobacco product is less harmful than others. The Commission oversees whether Member States fully and correctly apply the provisions of the directive.

With regard to e-cigarettes, given the lack of conclusive evidence relating to the long-term health effects, use patterns and potential to facilitate smoking cessation, Article 20 of the directive contains their regulation with an emphasis on safety, quality and consumer protection. The rules for e-cigarettes nevertheless allow these products to remain widely available to consumers. A recent Commission report COM (2016) 269(2) underlines a number of potential risks to public health relating to the use of e-cigarettes, at the same time highlighting the need for further research.

(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).

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