EU tobacco products directive is effective after all!

On May 20, 2021, the European Commission published the first Report on the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40EU (TPD), as per the requirement of Article 28 (1) of the TPD. The application of the TPD has resulted in a steady decrease of people smoking, as well as of the use of tobacco. The Report also notes that improvements should be made to more effectively implement the Directive on a national level and take into greater consideration the current developments of the market.

What does the Report say?

The Report concludes that the TPD has ameliorated tobacco control and public health over the years, while the ECJ has confirmed the validity of the Directive.

The Directive has achieved the European Commission’s target related to the 2% reduction of tobacco use in five years from its transposition, while also applying the WHO FCTC provisions.  There was a 3% decrease in smoking in people aged 15+ from 2014 to 2020, as well as in young ages.

The TPD has also contributed to further strengthen the rules that constitute a part of an overall policy regarding tobacco control in the EU. Moreover, the Directive has attained the goals that Member States could not achieve individually.

Generally, “the TPD was considered consistent internally” (European Commission, 2021), although market developments enforce the need for improvement in certain significant areas. Additionally, the Report notes that there are differences regarding compliance and harmonization on a national level. The new established systems require an important degree of resources, while several Member States lack the necessary resources to achieve the enforcement. Finally, the Report urges to take into consideration Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and the WHO’s aim of 30% relative tobacco reduction by 2025.

Looking at the future: Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan

On February 3, 2021, the European Commission announced Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, which addresses cancer under four key areas, while taking actions to reduce the use of tobacco. The goal is to achieve that less than 5% of the population smokes by 2040.

The TPD in General

The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which was adopted in 2014, includes provisions on “manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products” (European Commission, 2021), which establishes requirements for manufacturers that wish to import tobacco and related products in the EU market.


Anna Karavasili

Regulatory Affairs Department

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