perjantai 18. maaliskuuta 2016

Translation: Finnish TPD implementation draft was updated

The TPD implementing legislation is currently going rounds with expert statements in various committees in Finland at the moment, their thoughts on whether or not things need to be changed should be out soonish. But in the mean time, here's what's on the table right now as far as national additions to the directive are concerned, all of which are derived from existing cigarette regulation and the asserted "need to regulate them in exactly the same way" (which ofcourse fails spectacularly due to TPD itself):

- Only allowed flavor in liquids (nic and non-nic) is tobacco. Specifically the ban on "characterizing flavors" was extended to electronic cigarettes. This is based on the assertion that the measure would reduce appeal among youth, but still leave the products available for adults who choose to use them.
This has also led to opponents arguing that "but we are not criminalizing ecigs!".

- Ban on cross-border and distance sales to consumers, including domestic sales. Justification stated is that internet-based market cannot be adequately overseen, particularly when it comes to checking age.

- A shop employee must be present at all times at a sales event and must be able to keep an eye on the products at all times. Also only 18+ can sell any products under the tobacco legislation.

- Age limit 18 years for buying and possession of electronic cigarettes and nicotine liquids. Also illegal to give under-aged persons electronic cigarettes or nicotine liquids.

- Ban on usage anywhere smoking is prohibited (more or less anywhere indoors that's not a home and outdoor events if there are stationary bystanders), this includes vape shops. The law also includes provisions for housing companies to ban usage on balconies, without requiring evidence of harm to health of bystanders. The only exception is that vaping cannot be banned inside apartments.

- Import limit of 10ml nicotine liquids for products that do not have warning labels in finnish and swedish. This is a straight implementation of the restriction on cigarettes. They justify the amount by asserting that 200mg maximum content is equal to maximum nicotine yield of 200 cigarettes. This, of course, is a nonsensical and absurd calculation. The original restriction of 200 cigarettes is in place to control the prevalence of imported products so finnish and swedish warning labels stay atleast at a constant level.

- Sales require a permit. Oversight fee for each point of sale 500 euros per year. The permit is the same as for cigarette sales, but the fee is separate for each.

- Point of sale display ban on products. Customers can be shown a printed catalog if they request it, that includes a picture of the products and their prices (not known at this point if it can include anything else). The catalog must be hidden otherwise.

EDIT 22.03.: An amendment was just proposed, that would ban smoking in a private vehicle when a 15 year old or younger was present. It was reasonably well argued and does make sense, although unenforceable for the most part. But, the legislation draft includes a statement on electronic cigarette emissions, extending ANY ban enacted on smoking to apply to vaping as well. So, basically vaping in a car when a child is preset would also be banned, on the basis of the hazards of cigarette smoke without ever specifically mentioning vaping. Whether or not such a ban is a good idea is certainly a legitimate discussion, but it should definitely be done so on it's own merits.

5 kommenttia:

  1. Oh my god - this is nuts. Are there any options for advocacy...? No doubt we will have Pekka Puska pushing these ideas to WHO.

      They can be contacted directly, contact information at the bottom of the page.

    2. It is possible to contact the government, and I personally have. I got a reply about the false diacetyl study as if it was a fact. That's part of their reasoning. Other than that, there have been petitions floating around, but I don't know that the vaping community is that large in a country the size of Finland.

  2. Is there any indication of the notification fee?

    1. Not yet unfortunately. Many of the details remain unpublished, the law draft includes a lot of "ministry will issue a decree". Currently there exists only one fee for tobacco, 170 euros, but it's not quite the same thing as the new notifications.