A tobacco product means a product that can be consumed and consists wholly or partly of tobacco. Tobacco products can be divided into smokeless tobacco products and tobacco products for smoking. Tobacco products for smoking include products such as cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco. A cigarette means a roll of tobacco intended for smoking. The precise definition of a cigarette is available in the Act on Excise Duty on Tobacco Products. Roll-your-own tobacco means tobacco which can be used for making cigarettes by consumers or retail outlets.
Restrictions on the additives and characteristics of tobacco products, tobacco products for smoking, cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco are issued by the Tobacco Act.
Requirements concerning Tobacco Products
It is prohibited to sell or otherwise supply to consumers tobacco products
containing additives that are liable to create the impression that the product has a health benefit or poses reduced health risks compared to other tobacco products;
containing stimulant compounds or other additives that are liable to create an impression of energy and vitality;
containing additives that have colouring properties for tobacco emissions;
containing additives that have CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic) properties in unburnt form;
containing additives in quantities that increase the toxic or addictive effect, or the CMR properties of a tobacco product at the stage of consumption to a significant or measurable degree.
Furthermore, it is prohibited to sell or otherwise supply to consumers tobacco products intended for smoking that contain additives which facilitate nicotine uptake or the inhalation of smoke.
It is also prohibited to sell or otherwise supply to consumers products such as
cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco with a characteristic flavour or aroma (as regards menthol flavour, inter alia, there is a transition period until 19 May 2020);
cigarettes with filters, papers or capsules that contain tobacco or nicotine.
In addition, the labelling of unit packets of tobacco products is strictly regulated.
Ingredients and additives
Ingredient means tobacco, an additive, as well as any substance or element present in a finished tobacco product or related products, including paper, filter, ink, cartridge and glue.
Additive means a substance, other than tobacco, that is added to a tobacco product, a unit packet or to any outside packaging.
If a cigarette or roll-your-own tobacco contains an additive that is included in the priority list of additives approved by the European Commission, the manufacturer or importer of the product shall carry out studies, which shall examine each additive to ascertain whether it:
contributes to the toxicity or addictiveness of the product concerned, and whether this has the effect of increasing the toxicity or addictiveness of the product concerned to a significant or measurable degree;
results in a characterising flavour or aroma;
facilitates inhalation or nicotine uptake;
leads to the formation of substances that have CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic) properties and the quantities thereof, and whether it has the effect of increasing the CMR properties in the product concerned to a significant or measurable degree.
Studies of primary additives must take account of the intended use of the product concerned and, in particular, examine the emissions resulting from the combustion process involving the additive concerned. The studies must also examine the interaction of the additive with other ingredients contained in the product concerned.
Emissions mean substances that are released when a tobacco product is consumed.
For the time being, maximum levels of emissions have only been determined for tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide emissions resulting from the use of cigarettes. The maximum levels are based on EU legislation and are the same in all Member States.
When smoked, a cigarette may emit:
a maximum of 10 milligrams of tar;
a maximum of 1 milligram of nicotine;
a maximum of 10 milligrams of carbon monoxide.
The tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide emissions from cigarettes must be measured and the accuracy of the measurements must be verified before the product in question is released for retail sale. The laboratory verifying the measurements must be approved by Valvira (link to Laboratory text).
For the time being, maximum limits have not been determined for other emissions. However, manufacturers and importers of tobacco products must provide Valvira with information on all emissions generated by the smoking of cigarettes and other tobacco products before the product in question is released for retail sale.
Fire safety requirements
The burning behaviour of cigarettes shall meet adequate fire safety requirements regarding self-extinguishing performance. This must be tested and verified before the product is released for retail sale.
According to a decree issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (592/2016), the burning behaviour of cigarettes must be tested and verified in accordance with the European standards EN 16156:2010 ”Cigarettes – Assessment of the ignition propensity – Safety requirement” and EN ISO 12863:2010 ”Standard test method for assessing the ignition propensity of cigarettes”.
A cigarette complies with the fire safety requirements for self-extinguishment if, in a test complying with the above-mentioned standard, at most 25 per cent of the batch of a cigarette brand tested in one go burns to the longitudinal end of the cigarette when the test substrate consists of ten layers of filter paper in compliance with the standard.