Green Light for EU Flavor Ban Challenge

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    Ireland’s High Court has granted two tobacco companies permission to challenge the EU ban on flavored tobacco-heating products, reports The Irish Times.

    The ban, which covers all flavors except tobacco, took effect Nov. 23, 2022. EU member states have until July 23, 2023, to transpose the rule into national legislation.

    BAT subsidiaries PJ Carroll and Co. and Nicoventures Trading claim the EU directive is invalid. Their challenge targets the minister for health, Ireland and the attorney general.

    PJ Carroll contends the EU ban undermines its “ability to capitalize fully on the unique opportunity of being the first company to launch heated-tobacco products on the Irish market for adult smokers who would otherwise continue to smoke.”

    The company, which holds 10 percent of the Irish market for e-cigarettes, started commercializing heated-tobacco products in Ireland in 2021.

    In an affidavit, PJ Carroll Director and Head of Trade Simon Carroll said the ban will also undermine BAT’s significant investment in the development of “products with reduced-risk profile (relative to cigarettes) to cater to the preferences of adult smokers in Ireland who would otherwise continue to smoke.”

    In addition, the ban has significant implications for the implementation of public health policy and anti-smoking campaigns where there are acceptable alternatives to traditional cigarettes, he said.

    PJ Carroll and Nicoventures have also challenged the directive at the EU General Court, which is part of the EU Court of Justice.