Tobacco products directive - Specific aspects: ingredients, labeling, marketing


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Presentation by Peter van der Mark (Secretary-General, European Smoking Tobacco Associations (ESTA)) on the occasion of the EESC hearing on Manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products (Brussels, 19 Feb 2013).

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Tobacco products directive - Specific aspects: ingredients, labeling, marketing

  1. 1. EESC HEARING TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE 19 FEBRUARY 2013 Peter van der Mark, Secretary General
  2. 2. » ESTA: European Smoking Tobacco Association» Tobacco Products: Diverse and Different in all Aspects» TPD: Ingredients» TPD: Labelling» TPD: Misleading Descriptors
  4. 4. PROPOSAL TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE: INGREDIENTS»Characterising flavours ban applies to smoking products and smokeless alike as well as include all non-tobacco flavours.»The Commission claims targeting products that appeal to youth but why then ban adult flavours andalso target products that are not consumed at all by minors such as traditional nasal snuff and chewingtobacco?»There is no evidence that flavours stimulate consumption and traditional nasal snuff and chewingtobacco have virtually no association with consumption by minors.»The impact of the ban, is that it will effectively prohibit almost all traditional chewing and nasal snufftobacco products affecting all SMEs manufacturing the traditional products.»Through delegated acts the Commission would also de facto be allowed to ban pipe tobacco and cigars.»“Ingredients” reporting is not well thought out and SMEs would have to report, as an example, theconstituting elements of the tobacco packaging as well as their toxicity levels. Why would such benecessary and has anyone considered how an SME with 60 employees would be able to do this?
  5. 5. PROPOSAL TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE: LABELLING & STANDARDISATIONPackaging Standardisation»Prescribed packaging form for RYO > Only Pouch, with prescribed ‘flap’, containing minimum 40 grams: Why can themultitude of packaging forms no longer be used? > No reason given and no justification.»The impact of this requirement is that packaging lines become obsolete, and in several cases companies that producemainly other than pouch packaging will have to close as adapting is not (financially) feasible.»An exogenous impact is that costs per pouch will go up, opening a market for illicit trade where RYO Europe-wide todayonly sees marginal and some localised illicit trade.Health Warnings»General Health warning 50% of surface, Information messages 50% of surface»Combined Health Warnings (pictorial and text) 75% on both sides of the packaging»Unique Identifier & ‘Hologram’»Tax Stamp, Bar Code, Name and address of manufacturer, Other national legal prescriptions»High rotation speed of HWs»For a RYO pouch this means on one side 100% health warning and the other 94% space taken up by health warnings andother legally binding markings. It leaves 6% space available for trade mark expression and no way to affix tax stamp.»In many member states current health warnings are text only and around 30% of the surface.»The Impact on the RYO market will be due to significant cost increases (rotation speeds) and damage in competition in amarket where many niche brands depend on visibility allowing consumers to identify the products. Many brands andthereby companies will not survive.»Similar issues for the HWs for Pipe and traditional nasal snuff and chewing tobacco.
  7. 7. PROPOSAL TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE: MISLEADING DESCRIPTORS . ˃ Misleading descriptors will include existing trade marks if these are found to be misleading. ˃ Colour used in packaging is deemed to be misleading, including white, denim and silver, as examples. ˃ The IA of the Proposal addresses promotional packaging and NOT misleading descriptors. ˃ Commission claims to focus on misleading pack elements but actually ban factual consumer information e.g: No reference can be made to taste/flavour. But flavours are allowed for pipe tobacco, but one cannot refer to it. How can a consumer know what he is buying? ˃ SMEs use hundreds of niche brands which all could be at risk of being banned. ˃ The question is how can packaging be misleading when the health warning is prominent on the package?
  10. 10. PROPOSAL TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVE: Some thoughts…»Is the Proposal really harmonising the tobacco market?»Will the Proposal lead to a distortion of the market?»Will SMEs, with the disproportionate cost increases, be able to compete in the future?»Did the Commission complete the full SME test, taking into account all aspects of theProposal including those on which it did not prior consult, such as track and trace,standardisation of packaging and banning products?»How will SMEs be able to maintain their business if the Commission can regulateeverything in future at any given time through delegated acts?»If the SMEs stop producing will less tobacco products be sold or will they be sold by largercompanies?»Do all the measures really impact upon smoking rates? The overall outcome of allmeasures combined is to be based on the assumption that there will be 2% less tobaccousers in 5 years according to the IA.
  11. 11. PROPOSAL TOBACCO PRODUCTS DIRECTIVEThe real impact of the Proposal for SMEs is at best ignored, at the worstsimply not seriously considered in the IA.This Proposal as it is, risks establishing a standardised ’one-product’tobacco market with 4-5 main companies operating in it. Different tobacco products need differentiated treatment but based on the same principles underpinning the law.
  12. 12. »Represents 48 Members across the EU: Mainly small and medium sized tobacco manufacturers, of which several havebeen in existence for over a century.»Members also include National Smoking Tobacco Associations in Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belgium,Luxembourg.»ESTA represents the following products: ˃ Fine-Cut Tobacco, also known as Roll-Your-Own (RYO) ˃ Pipe Tobacco ˃ Traditional Nasal Snuff and Chewing Tobacco » Market shares of the respective Products (estimate 2011) of the total market for tobacco products EU: ˃ RYO: +/- 11% ˃ Pipe: > 0.47 % ˃ Traditional Nasal Snuff and Chewing Tobacco: > 0.09%»Consumer Profiles ˃ The typical fine-cut smoker does not exist but is mainly characterized as a price-conscious smoker, mainly male and with a medium to lower income and predominantly over 35 years of age. ˃ Pipe tobacco is mainly consumed by males from the age of 40 with 80% being over 60 years of age. ˃ The typical consumer profile for nasal snuff is that of a male with a ‘traditional’ mindset, over 40 years of age and often residing in rural areas with a medium to low income. The typical profile for a chewing tobacco consumer is that of a male, over 40 years of age with a medium to low income. Both products have a regional or local consumer base, founded in history and tradition, or with a specific cultural background.»Products are different, consumers are different, use is different, manufacturing is different, market isdifferent, and companies manufacturing the products are different.