SFP Newsletter holiday edition

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Dear colleagues and friends,

As the end of the year is approaching, we would like to thank you for all the support and wish you happy holidays. Much has changed in this past year at SFP and we appreciate your support during this transition period. As you know, Lilia Olefir has been appointed Director of SFP in September 2022. Lilia worked as Executive Director of Advocacy Centre LIFE before joining SFP as Policy and Communications Manager.

Special thanks to Irina Kubinschi, who is leaving SFP a!er four years. We will miss you and wish you all the best for your new job.

"I am very grateful for all the opportunities and time spent with SFP. It's now time for new adventures and I wish SFP and the Coalition all the best, especially with the EU Tobacco Taxation Directive. Happy holidays and keep in touch:
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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 dra!ed a statement urging Commissioner Gentiloni to release the proposal at the beginning of 2023 and put the interest of EU citizens over the vested interest of the tobacco industry. The proposal that has been leaked to the media allows us to assume that the Commission has made progress and was ready to present the proposal in December this year as planned. The current minimum cigarette excise tax rates were adopted in 2011. They were EUR 90 for 1000 cigarettes from 2014, and EUR 60 for 1 kg of fine cut tobacco for rolling-your-own cigarettes (RYO) starting in 2018. Using inflation data published by the European Central Bank, these minima translate to EUR 109 and EUR 70 in November 2022, and EUR 117 and EUR 75 in 2023, respectively. Therefore, the proposed minimum cigarette excise tax of EUR 180, though welcome, only constitutes a 54% increase in real terms of the existing minima. Read the SFP statement here.

- The Commission's Delegated Directive banning flavours in heated tobacco products and imposing mandatory labelling requirements was published in the O"icial Journal on November 3, 2022. The Delegated Directive entered into force on November 23, 2022. Member States shall transpose it into national law by July 23, 2023 and apply those provisions from October 23, 2023.

SFP Input into European Commission Consultations:

- On December 1, 2022, SFP responded to the call for feedback on the revision of the 2017 rules that set out EU standards on tracking and tracing tobacco products.

- On December 9, 2022: SFP and CNCT answered the EU Commission's call for feedback on the application of the EU Polluter Pays Principle – fitness check of its application to the environment.

- SFP is actively monitoring the launch of a public consultation on the general framework on tobacco control by DG SANTE (TPD and TAD) initially planned for end 2022.

Tobacco Control Scale and Smoke Free Map:

- The 2021 Tobacco Control Scale was presented at the ICO-WHO Symposium on Tobacco Control in Barcelona on December 2, 2022. The scale shows Ireland, UK and France leading the ranking while Serbia, Switzerland, and Bosnia & Herzegovina show poor results.

- The 2022 Smoke Free Map has been launched. The SFP Smoke Free Map presents the situation of smoke-free policies across Europe. It allows to track and monitor the successful implementation of Article 8 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), to which all EU Member States are signatories, that refers to the protection from exposure to tobacco smoke. Strong smoke-free policies are also a key requirement for the full implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Article 5.3 FCTC:

- On September 29, Philip Morris Germany organised an “a!er work cocktail reception” in the strategically located Place du Luxembourg to “exchange ideas” with the assistants of Members of European Parliament (MEPs). Other than going against Article 5.3 of WHO FCTC, SFP argued that this was another blatant example of the tobacco industry attempting to gain access to and influence policymakers ahead of the review of major policy files. SFP and Corporate Europe Observatory sent a letter to MEPs urging them not to attend.

- On November 28, SFP sent a letter to the Cabinet of Commissioner Hahn concerning the renewal of the Cooperation Agreement with Japan Tobacco International. In response to the SFP Coalition letter the European Anti-Fraud O"ice (OLAF) confirmed that "Cooperation Agreement between the European Union, participating Member States and Japan Tobacco Companies concluded on 14 December 2007 was set to expire a!er 15 years of implementation (Article 12.1 of the Cooperation Agreement). A!er the European Commission consulted Member States and the United Kingdom on this matter, it was concluded that the agreement would not be extended nor renewed. The agreement therefore expired on 14 December 2022 as initially scheduled."

Environment and Sustainability:

- Single-Use Plastic Directive: SFP is currently working with GGTC Tom Novotny on two background briefings on tobacco plastics and on ESG standards. We will share the latter with you for possible national-level actions on ESG standards and a paper to point out the hazards of cigarette filters.

- On November 28, the Council approved the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive that also applies to tobacco industry. “A!er being signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council, it will be published in the O"icial Journal of the European Union and will enter into force 20 days later. The new rules will need to be implemented by member states 18 months later.”

Tobacco Control Funding:

- On September 8, 2022, 15 members of the EU4Health Civil Society Alliance — that includes SFP — in a joint statement called for the European Commission to include operating grants for health NGOs in the EU4Health 2023 Work Programme. The operating grants were announced and launched on 8 December.

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