On February 26, 2014, the European Parliament approved the revised Tobacco Products Directive (the “Revised Directive”), which governs the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products in the European Union. This Revised Directive was passed by the European Parliament more than ten years after approval of the Tobacco Products Directive (the “Directive”). Prior to approval by the European Parliament, the Revised Directive was recommended by the European Union Member States. The Revised Directive will now be reviewed by the European Council, and is scheduled to take effect in 2016.
With an overall effort to limit the appeal of tobacco products, the Revised Directive regulates various areas, including labeling, remote sales and disclosure of ingredients. In particular, the scope of the Revised Directive is broader than the Directive, covering electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes that contain nicotine, and that are not for medicinal purposes, are covered by the Revised Directive. However, electronic cigarettes that do not contain nicotine are not covered by the Revised Directive.
For those electronic cigarettes covered by the Revised Directive, manufacturers will be required to report annually, to the various Member States, the sales volume of the products as well as the types of users, user preferences and trends. Manufacturers must notify Member States of the ingredients used in their products. There will also be limitations on advertising. The Revised Directive also mandates that health warnings appear on the packaging of electronic cigarettes. There will be a cap on the maximum nicotine concentration level for electronic cigarettes as well as a cap on the maximum volumes for cartridges.