Prague, Feb 22 (CTK) – The sales of e-cigarettes will be regulated in the Czech Republic for this first time as from March according to a directive of the Health Ministry, based on the European tobacco directive and the Czech law on food, daily Lidove noviny (LN) writes yesterday.
The directive introduces the duty to place health warning on tobacco products, it limits the content of nicotine in liquid refills and the size of their packages and it bans the use of raw materials that could contain carcinogenic substances.
The sales of e-cigarettes will start to be regulated ten years after they appeared on the Czech market, LN writes.
“Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product and their share on the market has been rising in the recent years as their popularity is growing,” LN quotes Stepanka Cechova, spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, as saying.
An estimated 3 to 4 percent of the two million smokers in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million prefer the electronic alternative, LN writes.
It writes that business with the sales of the vaporisers and refills crossed one billion crowns in 2015. Last year, the number of smokers and sales rose by about 10 percent annually, LN writes.
Cechova said that though the content of practically all toxicologically important components of e-cigarettes is lower in comparison with common tobacco products, the information on the composition of the liquid refills for them is as yet insufficient. In addition, a big number of various alternatives – with nicotine as well as without it – are on the market.
“The products are sometimes insufficiently marked, the description of their composition is unclear or incomplete, or the declared composition does not correspond to the composition found by a laboratory analysis. Problems exist mainly in other but domestic products,” Cechova said.
Producers and sellers say they are not afraid of the limitations and rules set in the directive, particularly in relation to the quality and composition of the refills because they have been meeting them for a long time.
“The binding directive is advantageous because it will bar suspiciously cheap and low-quality products from China, where there is no guarantee, from entering the market,” Bohdan Resler, from Ecoliquid, which is the largest Czech producer of the liquids, or nicotine and nicotine-free refills, told LN.