Tobacco Legislation

December 2020

Almost uniquely among fmcg industries, tobacco legislation is not simply a guiding element or a means of enforcing consumer standards but a central determining factor in the performance of tobacco markets. As the cumulative de-normalising impact of regulation and taxation drives down smoking prevalence worldwide, regulators are looking to the margins, towards next generation measures that impair the revenue-generating capacity of manufacturers and further restrict access to tobacco products.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Plain packaging spreading across regions

Since December 2012, when Australia became the first country in the world to fully implement plain packaging regulations, 15 more markets across regions have followed suit, and a growing number of countries are now also openly considering the measure. It is likely to be extended to other categories, such as e-vapour and heated tobacco.

Flavour and menthol bans not just for cigarettes

A ban on menthol cigarettes was implemented in the EU on 20 May 2020, and similar measures are likely to be enforced in the US in the near future. This adds further momentum to flavour restrictions that could be replicated across other countries and extended to other categories, such as flavoured e-vapour products, which are seeing closer scrutiny globally after the vaping crisis in the US, when a large number of cases of lung disease, including some deaths, were linked to the use of e-vapour.

Taxation on e-vapour and heated tobacco under discussion

With international tobacco manufacturers increasingly openly referring to a future in which the combustion of tobacco is no longer mainstream, taxation of potentially reduced risk products is likely to reshape the tobacco industry globally. The US and the EU are already taking the first steps in e-vapour and heated tobacco legislation that might lead not just to further taxation but also stricter controls on product use.

COVID-19: New anti-smoking provisions and further taxation seem inevitable

The outbreak of COVID-19 is acting as an enabler to further extend controls and restrictions on tobacco products, due to its association with the spread of the virus and increased severity of disease. Along with new anti-smoking provisions, governments are also expected to increase taxation on tobacco to finance rising public expenditure, which might also benefit the legalisation of medical and recreational cannabis in countries seeking new sources of public income to weather this crisis.

Key findings
Legislation overview
The three tiers of legislation
The next generation of regulations enters the mainstream
Plain packaging: spreading globally and towards other categories
2020: plain packaging
2030: plain packaging projection
FDA: menthol cigarettes ban likely to be implemented
FDA: stricter scrutiny of flavoured e-vapour products
Heated tobacco: FDA approval to facilitate heated tobacco expansion
EUTPD II Track & Trace (Article 15): approaching implementation
EUTPD/TED: taxation on new tobacco products under discussion
EUTPD: flavoured e-vapour and slim cigarettes on the spotlight
2019: global overview of e-cigarette regulation
E-cigarettes and HTP: current legislative status quo
Future of vapour legislation: three scenarios
Vapour legislation: major developments in the EU and the US
Modified risk claims: snus and heated tobacco take the lead
Fully fledged regulation expected by the middle of the decade
Turbo Taxation: Australasia and Europe at the forefront
Raising the legal tobacco purchase age: “Tobacco 21” and beyond
COVID-19: enabler for further tobacco restrictions
COVID-19: tobacco taxation set to increase across countries
Sustainability: cigarette butts set to face tougher restrictions
Sustainability: cigarette butts set to face tougher restrictions
Cannabis legislation: quick changes and tobacco involvement
Cannabis legislation: mirroring tobacco restrictions
Supply chain disruption: tobacco growers face multiple pressures
Euromonitor International’s newly researched emerging markets
Additional markets: overview
Bangladesh: higher prices insufficient to reduce smoking prevalence
Ethiopia: tougher tobacco legislation following WHO guidelines
Panama: well developed tobacco legislation since 2008
Western Europe legislation: summary table
Western Europe: overview
Netherlands: turbo taxation to accelerate reduction in prevalence
Belgium: further restrictions set to impact tobacco sales
Turkey: stricter anti-tobacco measures restrict consumers’ choice
Eastern Europe legislation: summary table
Eastern Europe: overview
Russia: higher taxation and stricter restrictions on tobacco
Hungary: excise taxes on cigarettes to comply with EU legislation
Estonia: flavoured e-vapour ban partially reversed to allow menthol
Latin America legislation: summary table
Latin America: overview
Brazil: Illicit trade remains the biggest problem
Mexico: no taxation changes forecast in the short term
North America: overview and summary table
US: vaping crisis accelerates industry changes
Canada: tougher measures on e-vapour products
Asia Pacific legislation: summary table
Asia Pacific: overview
China: e-vapour online sales not allowed
Philippines: new legislation expected to regulate new categories
India: further restrictions on tobacco to contain spread of COVID-19
Australasia legislation: overview and summary table
Australia: e -vapour and heated tobacco allowed under prescription
New Zealand: further taxation and more restrictions on tobacco
Middle East and Africa legislation: summary table
Middle East and Africa: overview
Saudi Arabia: tax on shisha to discourage tobacco consumption
Israel: Cannabis set to be fully legalised by 2021
South Africa: Illicit trade on the rise after cigarette ban
Passport Cannabis


Passport Tobacco covers the seven major tobacco categories: Cigarettes, Cigars & Cigarillos, Smoking tobacco (made up of Pipe tobacco and RYO tobacco), Smokeless Tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), E-Vapour Products (closed and open); Heated Tobacco; and Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine. Smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, lighters or matches, etc., are not included, nor are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, which are part of Euromonitor's Passport Consumer Healthcare database.

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