Over time, the EU has implemented progressively more stringent anti-tobacco measures. The Commission is currently reviewing the impact of the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU), also known as “TPD2”, with a view to making proposals for additional tobacco control measures. Earlier this year, in February 2021, it signalled its intent to focus on making “product regulation stricter”.
There is a strong possibility that the Commission may revive its proposal to ban the sale of slim cigarettes, a measure that was proposed, then later rejected, during TPD2 negotiations. “Slims” are typically considered to be cigarettes with a circumference of anything under 23mm, in contrast to regular-sized cigarettes with a circumference of around 25mm.
Poland would be impacted by a slims ban more than any other EU Member State, given its strong domestic slims market, its tobacco growing and manufacturing industries, and its proximity and links to other markets where slims would remain available and accessible. At the same time, there is no evidence that a ban on slims would have a positive impact on population health, given that slims smokers are more likely to switch to other products, with a significant proportion likely to switch to widely available illicit products, which are uncontrolled and present significant dangers to health.