EU’s highest court endorses tobacco law

cigarette-package-nl-2-2016On 4 May 2016, the Court of the Justice of the European Union (CJEU) upheld stricter rules on tobacco packaging, the ban on menthol cigarettes and special rules on electronic cigarettes.

The CJEU has upheld the new EU regulation that requires tobacco firms to cover two-thirds of cigarette packets with health warning. In addition, the EU Court has endorsed tougher rules on e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes will be considered just like regular tobacco if they contain a certain concentration level of nicotine. The Court also confirmed the legality of the notification scheme for e-cigarettes when new products are introduced to the market. Last, the CJEU cleared also the ban on menthol cigarettes.

Despite the EU-wide rules, Member States still have a say on tobacco. Member States may go even further from the prescribed rules and opt for plain packaging. Member States can regulate e-cigarettes as medicines. And they can ban e-cigarettes, if they justify the ban by safety concerns.