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Revision of EU Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC (Dutch only, English synopsis)

Review Directive 2001/37/EG


Public consultation:
The EU Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC containing rules on the production, presentation and sale of tobacco products, may be revised. This involves an update on products which should be included, consumer information on packaging, reporting, registration and regulation of additives, and consumers' access to tobacco products. RIVM has assessed whether the proposed revisions can be scientifically substantiated.

Information on tobacco product packaging:
This research shows, amongst others, that the levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (TNCO) on cigarette packs are generally lower than the actual exposure of the smoker, especially for light cigarettes. Information on these levels is therefore misleading for the consumer. For example, they can be replaced by information on the harmful, addiction- and attractiveness-enhancing effects of substances in smoke and tobacco. In addition, the design of tobacco product packages can be standardized. A generic design may make buying and consuming tobacco products less attractive. The same applies to the use of large picture warnings. In new nicotine and tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and hookah, tobacco warnings and product information are also important.

Existing regulations for tobacco additives, such as flavors, appear to be based on criteria for safe use of food additives. This means that for example combustion products are not considered. For a proper risk assessment of tobacco products these effects also need to be taken into account. In addition, it is important whether an additive makes a tobacco product more attractive for consumption. Regulation to limit the use of additives that make cigarettes more attractive has been introduced in several countries in recent years.

For a proper risk assessment, information on other ingredients is necessary including tobacco species, design features such as the type of filter, and information about other substances present in smoke. In all cases, policy makers can analyze and disclose information more easily if tobacco manufacturers provide this information electronically and uniformly.
Directive 2001/37/EC
tobacco products

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