Wednesday, 29 March 2023

SFP Policy Actions & Communications

Tobacco Taxation and Products Regulation:

- The Tobacco Tax Directive which was planned for December 7, 2022 according to the agenda of Commissioners, has been postponed. SFP held meetings with Commission representatives: Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union and with the Cabinet of Commissioner Gentiloni. 

- A public consultation on the evaluation of the General Framework for Tobacco Control (TPD and TAD) was launched by DG SANTE. The deadline for submission is May 16, 2023. SFP will share a draft with you by the end of April.

- On March 1, 2023 the Commission adopted an IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU), amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/574 on technical standards for the establishment and operation of a traceability system for tobacco products.

 SFP Input into Consultations:
- In January 2023, SFP submitted input to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in preparation for the next Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) on a proposed UN international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. All the points shared align with the Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA) recommendations.

Article 5.3 FCTC:
- On December 21, SFP published the 2021 Declared tobacco industry interference infographic. SFP has been monitoring the EU Transparency Register to identify and measure the representation of tobacco industry interests. The objective is to shed light on the human and economic resources of the tobacco industry and its allies, who are lobbying the EU institutions. It is important to note that this is a conservative estimate of lobbying resources, mainly as it is based on the voluntary EU transparency Register, thus it does not present an exhaustive picture of the lobbying activities of the tobacco industry. 

Environment and Sustainability:
- SFP Published an article on the tobacco industry’s EU-wide environmental costs, also using it as an opportunity to call for a ban on filters and mention the opportunity of next UN Plastics Treaty to achieve this. Partners can find the relevant information for the environmental costs of the tobacco industry in their country through this link.

- The European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), that started elaborating tobacco sectorial Enivromental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards, postponed the work. SFP has enquired about the delay and is actively monitoring the process. 

Updates from the EU Institutions

- In DG SANTE, the new disease prevention and health promotion unit appointed a new Head of Unit, Mr. Artur Furtado. He was previously Deputy Head of Unit in the same Unit and has been working for DG SANTE since 2005. 

New SFP Coalition Partners

We are very pleased to officially welcome two new SFP Coalition Partners, whom we have been collaborating with for a long time already: Institut Català d'Oncologia and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

COP 10 and MOP 3

The next COP10 and MOP3 will take place in Panama in November 2023.

The Convention Secretariat is pleased to announce that the application process for observer status to the COP and to the MOP is now open online. New Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are invited to apply by 22 August 2023 for the COP and 29 August 2023 for the MOP.
Applications are accessible on the following links:
•             FOR COP:
•             FOR MOP:

SFP events

- On March 21, SFP organised its first Coalition Call 2023. SFP shared recent updates regarding TTD, TPD, TAD, Smoke Free. Coalition partners shared updates on their national priorities.

SFP Participation in External Events

- On January 28, 2023 Lilia Olefir took part in the Nicotine & Tobacco New Products event in Madrid and held a presentation on "Europe scenario: European WHO Region non-EU countries"

- SFP will take part during the next European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECToH) which will take place in Madrid April 26-28 

  • April 26, 11:30 - 13:00 PLENARY HALL - FCTC compliance and monitoring from different perspectives.
  • April 26, 14:30 - 15:30 ANNEX HALL 3 - Taxes & Transborder commercialization.
  • April 26, 16:00 - 17:00 ANNEX HALL 5 Tobacco industry’s greenwashing activities through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).


European Citizens' initiative organised by ENSP and

The European Citizens' Initiative "Tobacco Free Environment and the First European Tobacco-Free Generation by 2030" has been officially launched! This initiative has been organised by and ENSP. This Citizens’ initiative was accepted by the European Commission last year. It has been launched on January 16, 2023 and will end on January 16, 2024. In order for the Commission to move forward with the recommendations proposed by this initiative, 1 million statements of support must be collected within 1 year, and reach the specific threshold in at least 7 different Member States.

You can sign the initiative here. Please help us share the news so we can bring this initiative forward together.

Drop in smoking prevalence in the Netherlands 

Good news from Health Funds for a Smokefree Netherlands: smoking prevalence among Dutch adults (18+) dropped from 20,6% to 18,9% in 2022. This shows that the tobacco control measures that were implemented in past years, are effective. New tobacco control measures are being implemented in 2023, e.g. a substantive tobacco tax increase, a ban on e-cigarette flavours other than the tobacco flavour and an online sales ban on tobacco and related products (e.g. e-cigarettes). In the coming years more measures will go into force, e.g. a sales ban in supermarkets and a substantive tax increase leading to a price of 10 euros per pack of cigarettes in 2024. 

Unfairtobacco's new video on disposable e-cigarettes

Unfair Tobacco recently published a new video What's actually in disposable e-cigarettes? In an accompanying news piece they comment a move of the German Bundesrat aiming at the German government to push for a ban to put disposables on the market.

The Bundesrat suggested to use the planned Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation and include e-cigarettes in the list of items. This would mean that e-cigarettes should not be allowed on the market as single-use products which would equal to a ban of disposable e-cigarettes on the EU market.

ASH Scotland calls for increased cessation support for Scotland’s poorest communities

On March 8, 2023 (No Smoking Day), ASH Scotland published estimates on the economic impacts of tobacco on low income households based on calculations conducted by a health economist:

  • Average smoking households in Scotland’s lowest income group will spend 29.4% of income on tobacco in 2023, around nine times more than the 3.35% estimated to be spent by similar households in the highest income group.  
  • People could save around £3,300 within 12 months of quitting tobacco
  • Households in the country’s lowest income group containing two or more people who smoke will spend on average £6,087 on tobacco in 2023, which would account for 73.5% of their income. 

Read the full press release here

Advertising regulator upholds ASH Scotland's complaint

On February 15, 2023 the ASA/CAP upheld ASH Scotland’s complaint against ecigs retailer VPZ/CCHG Ltd (which has financial ties with tobacco company Philip Morris, see VPZ - TobaccoTactics). More at Advertising regulator upholds health charity’s complaint against vaping company’s medicinal smoking cessation claims about e-cigarettes | ASH Scotland
The judgement is here: CCHG Ltd - ASA | CAP and the last line states:
“We told CCHG Ltd not to make smoking cessation claims about their e-cigarette products in the absence of a relevant MHRA licence.” There is currently no e-cigarette licensed for medicinal use by the MHRA in the UK. Channel 4 covered this news and can be found here

ASH and Dr Rob Branston's report on Big Tobacco and the burden on public finances

ASH together with Dr. Rob Branston published a report "on the extent of the burden smoking puts on the public finances, demonstrating that in 2022 the costs are nearly twice as much as the revenues from tobacco excise tax and VAT (£21 billion compared to £11 billion in taxes)." Read the full report here

Scottish Government commissioned urgent review on disposable e-cigarettes

On January 20, 2023 the Scottish Government commissioned urgent review of the environmental impacts and management of single-use vapes. Read the news shared by ASH Scotland here

Driving Addiction: F1, Netflix and Cigarette Company Advertising 

Vital Strategies together with STOP recently published a new report Driving Addiction: F1, Netflix and Cigarette Company Advertising, which details how Netflix's audience is being exposed to tobacco-related branding. According to the report, "Netflix streamed more than one billion minutes of “Drive to Survive” programming that contained tobacco-related branding. Half of all Season 4 episodes contained tobacco-related branding in the opening minute.

Tobacco companies are on a mission to hook a new generation of users to their products. By allowing them to sponsor teams like McLaren and Ferrari, F1 is giving Big Tobacco access to marketing platforms, including Netflix, it could never use on its own."

Letter from Canada's Minister for Environment and Climate Change on global plastic treaty

Following a letter from a Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA) member, the Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, the Canada's Minister for Environment and Climate Change highlighted that Canada’s position will be to include tobacco control laws in the upcoming global plastics treaty negotiations. You can find the letter from the Minister here

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