IEVA would like to express its concerns regarding the draft law N° XIIIP-3849(3) amending article 9(2) of Law n° I-1143 on the control of tobacco, tobacco products and related products notified by the Republic of Lithuania to the European Commission on the 8th of July 2021, under the reference 2021/434/LT.
According to the statement of grounds submitted by the Lithuanian authorities, the amending draft law intends to reduce the attractiveness and demand for e-cigarettes and e-liquids “especially for young people who are particularly attracted to flavored smoking products”. Such a ban is described as “particularly relevant due to the worrying trend towards the increase of the use of e-cigarettes (especially among young people) in Lithuania”.
IEVA is particularly concerned by article 1 of the draft law that foresees the prohibition to place, on the lithuanian market, electronic cigarettes and refill containers filled with liquids (both with nicotine and nicotine-free) containing flavours other than tobacco smell and/or taste.
IEVA believes the proposed flavour ban is not proportionate to the objective pursued as the measure strongly fails to be:
- Appropriate i.e. a suitable mean to attain the objective with a reasonable connection between the aim and the measure;
- Necessary i.e. Member States should choose the means which least restrict the free movement of goods.
- It also has to be mentioned that the ban will highly increase black market.
- Apart from that, Lithuania already has a licencing law that fully regulates the market and prevents youngsters under 18 years old from buying such products.
- It will eliminate more than 10 k job places and will reduce tax paid by this business.
Overall, IEVA respectfully calls on the European Commission to examine the proportional character of the flavour ban proposed by Lithuania, and encourages the national authorities to adopt measures adapted to the pursued aim and based on thorough scientific evidence. For example, if licencing is already in place, the ban is no longer needed.
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