EU Commission proposes ban on flavoured heated tobacco

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The European Union should ban flavoured heated-tobacco products following a surge in demand, according to the European Commission.

The ban will help Europe advance a plan for less than 5% of its population to use tobacco by 2040, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a statement Wednesday.

Cigarette alternatives such as heated-tobacco products do not burn the tobacco, which makes them less harmful than combustible cigarettes, according to producers. But flavored products have come under increased scrutiny as anti-tobacco groups argue that they are more likely to lure young consumers.

The proposal will undergo a period of scrutiny by the European Council and the European Parliament and would enter into force 20 days after the publication in the Official Journal. Member States will have eight months to transpose the directive into their national law.

The proposal comes amid a wider crackdown on cigarettes and nicotine in recent weeks. Earlier this month, a report commissioned by the UK government recommended raising the legal smoking age each year in a bid to phase out tobacco use among young people. And the US Food and Drug Administration said it will draft a rule to remove most nicotine from cigarettes, while separately ordering Juul Labs Inc.’s e-cigarettes off the market.

“Prevention will always be better than cure,” Kyriakides said.

* Michael R. Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has campaigned and given money in support of a US ban on flavoured e-cigarettes and tobacco.

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