France: first Member State to publish detailed information on marketed tobacco products

ANSES, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, brings off an unprecedented assessment of the types and composition of tobacco and vaping products sold on the French market under the new European regulatory framework.

The overview tracks down inconsistencies and non-conformities in the data reported by the manufacturers, including emissions over the regulatory limit for some cigarettes and excessive nicotine in certain vaping devices, as well as some exceptional cases concerning prohibited substances. In light of this analysis, ANSES is issuing advice and guidance for a better development of the reporting process across the European Union.

Since the approval of the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU, ANSES has been the Agency designated in France to gather and analyze all data from manufacturers regarding the composition, emissions, toxicity and sales volumes of tobacco products before they can be placed on the internal market.

Out of 3.173 tobacco products and 33.813 vaping devices reported, more than 850 additives were found in tobacco products, while nearly 1.200 substances were referred to vaping products.

The list of reported substances concerning tobacco products includes a diverse range of additives, from just one contained in cigars to as many as 30 in cigarettes, most of them applied as flavors or taste intensification. With respect to e-liquids for vaping products, the majority of the reported substances were diluting agents - such as propylene glycol - with an average content of nicotine at 6mg/ml, and up to 15 flavors.

The unprecedent assessment finds out missing information on product composition and sales volumes, as well as some inconsistencies in the information reported by tobacco manufacturers. As a result, ANSES has identified non-conformities and informed the concerned companies to tackle the issues in line with European legislations. Special attention is drawn from the authorities to guarantee that non-compliant products are no longer sold in the market.

The Agency’s recommendations will be shared with the European Commission and other EU Member States for an improvement of the reporting process. Furthermore, to inform the customers, ANSES will also share the list of reported products on public websites.

Regulatory compliance provisions and health risks related to certain chemicals used in tobacco products have become the main concern of the European assessment process.


21/12/2020

Leyre Carrasco Alonso

Regulatory Affairs Department


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