THE SPANISH government is planning to crack down on non-conventional tobacco products by putting heated cigarettes on a par with conventional ones, as well as banning any kind of flavours added to smoking materials.
The Cabinet, led by Socialist Party Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, approved a decree covering the products today, Tuesday, in legislation that also will include warnings to users that the heated tobacco products are dangerous to health.
The plan will target items such as Iqos, which is a line of heated tobacco and electronic cigarette products manufactured by the tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI).
The use of such products is not widespread in Spain, according to Spanish daily El Pais, but they do currently enjoy a more relaxed regulatory framework.
The move comes in the wake of a new regulation from the European Union, which was passed in June of last year. The changes are likely to be published this week in Spain’s Official State Bulletin (BOE) and then come into force in around three months’ time.
The effect of the decree will also include the ban on flavours for any tobacco products, such as the tobacco itself, as well as filters and rolling papers, as well as any other method that introduces a smell or a flavour into the smoke.
As for vaping, for now there is no change to the regulations covering the products, which use an atomizer, a liquid and a power source to create a vapour inhaled by the user.
The Health Ministry is reportedly studying a tougher set of regulations for vapes, which can currently be sold in any kind of retail outlet in Spain.
According to a study on the use of drugs in Spain, published in 2022 and cited by El Pais, 44% of adolescents aged between 14 and 18 said that they had tried vaping, which is more than double the figure for 2016.
This suggests a sharp rise in popularity for the products, which experts warn can be a gateway to traditional smoking.
The last major change to tobacco legislation in Spain came in 2011, when smoking was completely banned from all enclosed public spaces, including bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
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