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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 454 - EU directives [tobacco] [48025/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 454 - EU directives [tobacco] [48025/14]. (16 Dec 2014)

454 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health his plans for the transposition of the EU tobacco products directive; the proposed legislative timeline for this transposition; the proposed transition periods for the various measures therein to take effect; if he will exercise the option to delay the ban on menthol cigarettes until 2020; the options available to utilise with regards to the treatment of e-cigarettes and novel tobacco products; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [48025/14]

Minister for Health (Deputy Leo Varadkar): A newly revised Tobacco Products Directive was formally adopted by the European Council earlier this year. The Directive came into force on 20th May 2014 and harmonises rules on tobacco products and certain aspects of e-cigarettes across Europe. Areas covered by the revised Directive include labelling and packaging, ingredients and emissions, traceability and security features and cross border distance sales of tobacco. Member States have two years to transpose the new rules into national law.

The Tobacco Products Directive states that the provisions relating to the ban on characterising flavours shall apply from 20 May 2020 for those tobacco products with an EU wide sales volume representing 3% or more. Menthol tobacco products fall within this category.

Any discretionary options set down in the Directive are being considered by my Department.

In addition to the provisions in the Tobacco Products Directive, the Government has approved the drafting of a General Scheme of a Bill to prohibit the sale of non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems (including e-cigarettes) to those under 18 years of age and by those under 18 years and to introduce a licensing system for those products.

The Department of Health will continue to monitor existing and emerging evidence on the potential harm and the potential benefits of these products, so as to inform decisions around any future additional regulation in this area.

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