Speaking during the opening day of the InterTabac trade exhibition in Dortmund, Germany, tobacco industry representatives called for a nuanced regulatory framework in a global economy strained by Covid, supply chain interruptions, inflation and the energy crisis.
Anticipating adjustments to the EU Tobacco Tax and EU Tobacco Products directives, speakers noted that not all tobacco products are created equally. For example, fine-cut tobacco has a different fiscal resilience than cigarettes, protection of minors is not an issue with classic pipe tobacco, and the market for conventional snuff is ever shrinking.
“Especially in the current ongoing crisis management situation, it is of utmost importance not to take a broad-brush approach to regulation,” said Michael von Foerster, CEO of the German Smoking Tobacco Industry Association.
“What we need is not new bans but active promotion of potentially less harmful innovative products, such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco,” said Jan Muecke, CEO of the German Association of the Tobacco Industry and New Products (BVTE), who also urged Germany to regulate nicotine pouches like e-cigarettes, according to a BVTE press release.
The call for product-appropriate regulation was echoed by the German Cigar Industry Association, whose products are consumed strictly for pleasure, purely occasionally and mainly by older men—which means there are no issues related to the protection of minors, according to the group.
The German Federal Association of Tobacco Retailers drew attention to the uncertainty facing its members due to soaring costs of labor, energy and other expenses.
The InterTabac trade fair takes place Sept. 15–17.