“A smoking imitation device”
According to the draft of the implementation decree of the European Tobacco Products Directive, the placement on the market of e-cigarettes requires that the e-liquid contains no nicotine, no flavorings and no additive like caffeine, taurine or other additives and stimulant compounds that give a feeling of improved energy and vitality.
European authorities had justified a drastic regulation of the e-cigarette because of the presence of nicotine. In Hungary, nicotine is prohibited but very restrictive measures are taken anyway for “the Protection of Non-Smokers”.
The decree also requires manufacturers to notify their products to the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (NIPN), to require child safety systems, a protection against breakage and leakage, and a mechanism allowing leakage-free refilling.
A health warning will be required on the at least 30% of both sides of the packaging, reading : “This product is an electronic smoking imitation device. Not recommended for children”.
“An Act on the Protection of Non-Smokers”
Hungary exploits the option left open by the EU TPD for State Members “to prohibit a certain category of tobacco or related products”, “provided the provisions are justified by the need to protect public health.”
Sought for the legal validation of the text, the European Commission estimated that Hungary, which has one of the highest smoking prevalence in the Union, is in a specific situation and considered “justified to regulate electronic cigarettes and electronic smoking imitation devices, regardless of [their] nicotine content.”
With this decree, Hungary is adopting a position diametrically opposed to that of England and even to that of France, where the High Council of Public Health recognized the usefulness of the e-cigarette for risk reduction and smoking cessation.
In this country where smoking is well settled and the e-cigarette market undeveloped, the authorities fear that vaping may promote a “culture of smoking” abandoning hope for smokers to access a solution for risk reduction.