Tobacco issue: Brussels impedes law amendments aimed at protecting young people
The competent EU committee has rejected Hungary's request for urgent procedure for the adoption of a law amendment package aimed at the immediate regulation of the market of herbal products inhaled by heating.
The Hungarian Supervisory Authority for Regulated Activities (SZTFH), tasked with the protection of minors and the lawful trade of tobacco products, has initiated a package of law amendments in an effort to battle the illegal consumption of Elf Bars, and all other herbal products which pose a similar threat to the health of minors.
However, the Brussels bureaucracy has put obstacles in the way of taking efficient and swift action,
he Hungarian portal Vilaggazdasag quoted the authority’s statement.
The competent EU committee has rejected Hungary’s request for urgent procedure for the adoption of a law amendment package aimed at the immediate regulation of the market of herbal products inhaled by heating. Despite the bureaucratic move, SZTFH’s position remains unchanged: the authority will continue to take all legal means at its disposal to curb smoking among young people and to protect the lawfully operating market.
The reason for the amendment is the increasing popularity of vape products made with various herbal ingredients, which can be consumed by heating, promoted as alternatives to similar tobacco products. The risk is that these products are currently sold outside the closed tobacco retail system and can also be purchased over the internet, which make them freely available to minors.
In addition to the growing demand for these herbal products for smoking, a major challenge for the SZTFH is the battling the illicit trade of a new type of disposable vape, the Elf Bar, which is advertised, among others, to young people. Therefore, the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary and the SZTFH are organising several campaigns to remove this product from the black market. The SZTFH is also launching a national campaign to raise awareness among schoolchildren in summer camps and, starting from autumn, in primary and secondary schools.