The European Commission proposed on Wednesday June 29 to ban in the twenty-seven countries of the European Union (EU) flavored versions of heated tobacco, a new type of product marketed in the form of sticks to compete with electronic cigarettes. The proposal will now be considered by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.

The text therefore does not concern electronic cigarettes and their liquids, said a spokesperson for the European executive, but targets heated tobacco which, inhaled, is likely to be harmful to health.

In a statement, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides justified:

“Nine out of ten lung cancers are caused by tobacco, so we want to make smoking as unappealing as possible to protect the health of our citizens and save lives. To achieve this, it is essential to take stronger measures to reduce tobacco consumption (…) and to keep pace with developments to cope with the relentless flow of new products entering the market – which is particularly important for protect young people. »

Sales on the rise

The sale of tobacco products was the subject of a European directive in 2014, which set the legislative framework for the territory of the Union, but the developments observed on this market authorize the Commission to modify this framework.

On Wednesday, the EU executive notably highlighted the fact that the volume of sales of “heated tobacco products” has increased by 10% or more in at least five EU countries, the minimum required to toughen the legislation. .

According to the Commission, the sale of this last type of product exploded in several Member States between 2018 and 2020, in particular in France (406% increase), Portugal (180%) and the Netherlands (153%).