How is the EU implementing the tobacco products directive ban on characterising flavours in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco?
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School of Medicine, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1588
Objectives: The European Union (EU) Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) prohibits the sale of boxed cigarettes and roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco products with characterising flavors (Directive 2014/40/EU, Article 7). The EUREST-FLAVOURS projects goal is to provide the European Commission (EC) with scientific and technical expertise to assist in the methodology specifications on whether tobacco products impart a clearly noticeable flavor other than tobacco. Methods: Regulatory implementation strategies for fully implementing Article 7 of the TPD include the entry into force of two Commission Implementing Acts, the formation of an Independent Advisory Panel, the formation of a Technical Group of Sensory and Chemical Assessors, and, finally, the establishment of uniform rules and Methodology to support whether or not a tobacco product has a characterising flavor-the latter two processes facilitated by the EUREST-F. Results: The methodology for determining whether a tobacco product has a distinguishing flavor other than tobacco that is "clearly noticeable" is based on a comparison of sensory profiles of test products through descriptive profiling and rank rating and that of reference products, and is supplemented, as needed, by a chemical assessment of the product composition properties. In 2023 a similar methodological approach will be applied by EUREST-FLAVOURs to support the regulatory decisions for Heated Tobacco Products. Conclusions: The EU TPD Article 7 is among very few policies regulating tobacco product flavours globally to have banned characterising flAn understanding of the policy implementation strategies and methodology for determining whether a product possesses a characterising flavour has significant public health policy implications in the EU and beyond. ​​​​​