On a regular basis, new tobacco products or nicotine products that do not contain tobacco are introduced on the consumer market. RIVM signals and assesses developments and trends among these products to inform policy makers and enforcement.

Type of research

To keep track of new or emerging tobacco and nicotine products (TNP), RIVM applies web-based searching strategies and studies scientific literature. By means of automated searches with defined sets of keywords we search through news websites and scientific literature at set intervals. This way, we follow national and international developments regarding new and emerging TNP and related regulatory efforts. RIVM also makes use of product data submitted by tobacco and e-cigarette manufacturers to the European Common Entry Gate (EU-CEG). The EU European Union (European Union)-CEG data are used to identify new products, assess product flavourings and composition and to keep track of trends, for example potential changes in product compositions since the ban on menthol flavoured cigarettes. RIVM shares and collects knowledge about new products within its national and international networks.

Monitoring industry developments

Governments aim for a smoke-free generation and have implemented various tobacco control measures and policies to reduce the use and attractiveness of tobacco and nicotine products. Traditional tobacco products are becoming more and more restricted. As a consequence, manufacturers introduce new products or alternatives that do not contain tobacco and thus are not subject to tobacco product regulation. For example:

  • Nicotine pouches were placed on the market as tobacco-free products. When these products became available on the Dutch market, RIVM performed risk assessments and concluded that these products are hazardous to health and addictive. Since November 2021, selling nicotine pouches with 0,035 milligrams or more nicotine per pouch is no longer allowed in the Netherlands. 
  • Accessories can be used to add flavours to tobacco products. As such, these undermine the effects of the characterising flavour ban on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco. RIVM made an inventory of the types of accessories on the Dutch market, their use and the applied
    Flavour accessories flavour wheel showing flavours arranged in groups
    marketing strategies. We identified nine types of flavour accessories, among which flavoured filters, capsules that can be inserted in filters and cards that can be added to cigarette packs. We also found that 16% of smokers ever used a flavour accessory. Moreover, while accessories were available in many different flavours, three-quarters of users preferred menthol or mint flavours. RIVM concluded that all accessories make tobacco products more attractive and recommended policy makers to consider restricting sales and advertising of these products.