• April 17, 2024

Tea Sticks Under Scrutiny

 Tea Sticks Under Scrutiny
Photo: cirquedesprit

European legislators are mulling restrictions on herbal heating products, which have been gaining popularity across the continent and elsewhere, reports Reuters.

In the wake of an EU ban on flavored tobacco-heating products last year, tobacco companies have been developing tobacco-free alternatives made from nicotine-infused substances such as rooibos tea.

The European Commission said it is currently evaluating EU tobacco laws, and any changes would be subject to the findings of that effort, public consultation and an impact assessment.

Already, some member states are looking to tighten national legislation.

In Latvia, for example, a draft bill would classify the zero-tobacco sticks as tobacco substitutes and subject to related controls. Croatia, too, intends to regulate herbal heat sticks, according to that country’s health ministry.

Regulation of such products is also being discussed internally in Lithuania.

German authorities, meanwhile, are arguing with manufacturers over whether existing tobacco tax laws cover the new products, according to a spokesperson for the Federal Customs Authority.

BAT said it supports the introduction of evidence-based regulation and appropriate excise taxes for its zero-tobacco sticks, adding that 15 EU member states have already introduced excise duties.

Philip Morris International also believes any nicotine-containing cigarette alternative should be regulated and taxed appropriately, a spokesperson said. The multinational notes that flavors play an important role in encouraging adult smokers to switch away from smoking.