July 6, 2022
Campaigners have criticised the proposed EU ban on flavoured heated tobacco products that might be imposed on Northern Ireland as well because of Protocol rules.
“Smokers in Northern Ireland must not be discriminated against. If flavoured heated tobacco products are available in the rest of the UK, smokers in Northern Ireland must have that choice too,” Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said.
“A ban would be a gross over-reaction by the EU and a blow to many consumers across Europe who want to quit smoking by switching to a reduced risk product that is as enjoyable to some as traditional cigarettes.”
The European Commission last week proposed to ban the sale in the EU of flavoured heated tobacco products after a big rise in their consumption.
“The available evidence suggests that heated tobacco falls between combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes in terms of risk so banning a product that is less harmful than traditional cigarettes would be madness and counter-productive as a public health measure,” Clark added.
The proposed ban would be in force if EU governments and EU lawmakers do not oppose it. The reports said the European Commission confirmed that the ban will apply in Northern Ireland, as the region follows the EU Tobacco Products Directive.