In the European Union, extensive tobacco control measures regulate the production, trade, packaging and advertising of tobacco products. Specifically, the Tobacco Products Directive (Directive 2014/40/EU) lays  down rules governing the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, including cigars and cigarillos. 

Products Regulation - ECMA
Products Regulation - ECMA

Considering the EU legislation’s focus preventing young people from tobacco addictive behaviour, cigars and cigarillos, have been granted exemptions from certain requirements relating to ingredients, flavours, labelling and reporting, as products mainly consumed by mature and conscious consumers representing small groups of the population (1). This fact has once again recently been confirmed in the European Commission’s Support Study to the report on the application of Directive 2014/40/EU, which found practically no use of cigars and cigarillos in the under-25 age group in the EU (2).

This approach is widely understood and shared across the globe – from the exclusion of cigars to the US Food and Drug Administration’s Final Deeming Rule (3) to the labelling exemption granted for cigars and cigarillos in the vast majority of EU countries which have implemented plain packaging for cigarettes. 

In the absence of clear change of circumstances in terms of sales volumes or consumption patterns of young people, as recently confirmed by the European Commission in May 2021 (4), ECMA firmly believes that cigars and cigarillos should continue to be treated differently from mass-consumed tobacco products. 

(1) Recital 26 of Directive 2014/40/EU.

(2) European Commission, Final Report: Support Study to the report on the application of Directive 2014/40/EU, May 2021, p. 290.

(3) United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, CIGAR ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA vs US FDA, No. 18-5195, 7 July 2020 and confirmed in the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), Final Substantial Equivalence and Premarket Tobacco Product Application Rules to address deemed product, 19 January 2021.

(4) European Commission, Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the application of Directive 2014/40/EU concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products, COM(2021) 249 final, May 2021, See Section ‘Substantial change of circumstance clause (Articles 2(28), 7(12), 11(6))’, p. 16.