European champions in e-cigarettes and novel products control

The tobacco epidemic has been changing its face, with the rising use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. These products are unsafe for lung health and studies have also shown that they often serve as a gateway to conventional cigarette smoking. 

The European Union (EU) is delaying the revision of recommendations and legislation. This delay will mean that previous pledges to better regulate tobacco products are not being met and there is a lack of action to harmonise the rules covering e-cigarettes and novel nicotine products.  

On a positive note, several European countries are stepping up their game by proposing new measures to protect children from the use of e-cigarettes and other novel nicotine products. 

Amongst those countries is Romania, that has recently banned advertising of e-cigarettes and devices that use heated tobacco. In addition, the advertisement of nicotine pouches on television and in certain public places is also banned. Finland has also formally notified the European Commission to introduce health labelling of smokeless nicotine products. Furthermore, Lithuania wishes to ban the use of flavours within e-cigarettes. 

Within the EU, 12 member states, including Ireland and France, addressed the Health Council last week. They shared a paper calling for EU action on nicotine products to protect the younger generation. The signing countries called for future-proof tobacco legislation, to address existing loopholes and make nicotine-based products less accessible to children. An example of how this would be achieved is by tackling online sales of products, especially to children. 

The European Lung Foundation (ELF) supports the pioneering efforts of EU member states. Increased public awareness and support is key to stopping the nicotine epidemic, especially for young people.  


We have recently updated our materials on e-cigarettes and tobacco products. This information is available in 9 languages.  


You can also read a lay summary of the ERS statement on e-cigarettes and other tobacco “harm reduction” products.