79th regular session of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia
The use of electronic cigarettes among children and young people is increasing sharply. Most adolescents start using e-cigarettes precisely because of the various flavours. However, flavours reduce the perception of harm. When inhaled, the flavours can cause asthma, bronchitis and other serious lung damage, or even death. A growing body of research shows that for adolescents who do not smoke, the use of e-cigarettes significantly increases the likelihood (up to four times) that they will also start smoking conventional cigarettes. The Government therefore wants to reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes, especially among children and young people, to protect their health.
The proposed draft amendment to the Restriction on the Use of Tobacco Products and Related Products Act transposes into national law the delegated European Commission Directive (EU) 2022/2100 of 29 June 2022 amending Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the withdrawal of certain exemptions in relation to heated tobacco products. It prohibits characterising flavour (such as fruit, spices, herbs, alcohol, candy, menthol or vanilla flavours) for heated tobacco products. The proposed draft amendment further prohibits all attractive fruity, sweet and herbal flavours in electronic cigarettes, except for the taste or smell of tobacco or menthol.
The proposed draft amendment also introduces some other amendments. The ban on smoking in smoking rooms will provide more complete protection against exposure to tobacco smoke in enclosed public and work places. This will also bring Slovenia more closely into line with the commitments of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which Slovenia has been a party since 2005.
In order to implement the legislation more effectively, the proposed draft amendment also complements some of the control and criminal provisions, involving the cooperation of several control authorities and including new offences for individuals. Among other things, an individual will not be allowed to sell tobacco and related products, nor import them in large quantities. In order to enforce more effectively the prohibition of internet or distance selling, the proposed draft amendment also prohibits consumers from obtaining tobacco and related products in this way.
The proposed measures will protect the health of all, especially children and adolescents, and contribute to the implementation of the Strategy to reduce the consequences of tobacco use entitled "Towards tobacco-free Slovenia".