Product regulation

(Additives and flavourings, package appearance, traceability and security element)

Times, they are changing - and the tobacco product control is too …

Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)

In April 2014, EU passed a new Tobacco Products Directive, the “TPD”.

Amendment to Act No. 110/1997 Coll., on food and tobacco products, Decree No. 261/2016 Coll., on tobacco products, and Decree No. 37/2017 Coll., on electronic cigarettes, have transposed TPD into Czech national legislation.

The track and trace requirement in respect of cigarettes and cut tobacco will enter into force on 20 May 2019. The entire supplier chain of tobacco products is now getting ready vigorously for the system to be launched.

What are the key measures included in the TPD?

Products with characteristic flavourings* (e.g. fruit flavourings) of cigarettes are withdrawn from the market. Menthol cigarettes will only be allowed on the market until May 2020.
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Text and images
Since August 2016, the use of language and graphics that might be perceived as misleading e.g. by suggesting that a product is less harmful (e.g. “natural”, “organic”, “no additives”, “slim") has been prohibited. Equally, indicating levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide has been prohibited.
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Capsules are allowed but they cannot contain characteristic flavourings with the exception of menthol that is allowed until May 2020.
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Health warning
Starting in August 2016, all cigarette and tobacco packs must contain a health warning covering 65 % of the surface on the two largest sides of the pack. These warnings contain, besides text, also graphics that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products for smokers.
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Starting in 2016, cigarette packs must contain at least 20 cigarettes, tobacco pack at least 30 g in all EU Member States.
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Safety element and unique identifier
From 2019 on, the packs and cartons will contain a special safety element and unique identifier, in order to combat illicit trade in and counterfeiting of tobacco products.
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In 2019, a reading system for traceability of tobacco products will be launched.
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For electronic cigarettes (i.e. those not subject to regulation as pharmaceuticals), the maximum nicotine level is 20 mg/ml. E-cigarettes must also comply with product safety requirements and advertisement restriction.
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*"Characteristic flavouring" means a distinct flavour or taste other than tobacco.

TPD also stipulates the form, wording and scope of the general warning, information message and combined health warning.

A general warning reading “Smoking kills – stop now” must cover 50 % of the surface.

An information message reading “Tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer.” must cover 50 % of the surface.

A combined health warning must contain one of the 14 text warnings and corresponding colour picture included in a list of graphic warnings (3 “libraries”, rotating every year); furthermore, they must contain stop smoking information reading as follows: “How to quit smoking: . The combined health warning must cover 65 % of the outer surface of the front and back side of the packaging.