Examining non-compliance and regulatory implications of flavored electronic cigarettes in the European market
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Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Medical Research Agency, Warsaw, Poland
Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Boston, United States
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Paweł Koczkodaj   

Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A30
Flavored electronic cigarettes have gained popularity in the European market; however, concerns have been raised regarding their compliance with regulations and the potential need for policy revisions.

The primary objective of this research was to conduct a thorough investigation into the reported instances of violations associated with non-compliant flavored electronic cigarettes, specifically those being marketed and sold within the European market.

We conducted an extensive search using Rapex, the EU Rapid Information System for dangerous non-food products, to identify reported violations of non-compliant flavored e-cigarettes between 2005 and 2022. We thoroughly reviewed complete reports and accompanying photographic documentation to assess the presence of characterizing flavors. Descriptive statistics were utilized to present mean, standard deviation (SD) for numeric variables, and numbers/percentages for categorical variables.

Between 2005 and 2022, a total of 110 alerts were recorded, with 78 (70.9%) related to flavored e-cigarettes and 32 (29.1%) to refills. Safety information deficiencies accounted for 87 alerts, while volume violations comprised 33 alerts. Seventeen alerts indicated exceeding permitted nicotine concentration. Among these, 10 cases were identified based on producers' declarations, with an average nicotine concentration of 48.40 mg/ml (SD 12.20). Laboratory tests conducted on eight reported products revealed an average nicotine concentration of 31.09 mg/ml (SD 8.45).

In light of the substantial number of alerts associated with flavored e-cigarettes and the identified safety information deficiencies, volume violations, and excessive nicotine concentrations, our findings underscore the necessity for a reassessment of EU legislation to include a prohibition on flavored e-cigarettes, similar to that implemented for conventional cigarettes.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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