The revised EU Tobacco Products Directive – also known as EUTPD II – is going to mean changes to the way retailers sell tobacco products. Here’s what you need to be aware of.

EUTPD II will begin to phase into the market from May 20, 2016. This is the deadline for manufacturers to start producing EUTPD II compliant packs.

This is what the packs will look like:

  • 65% of pack covered in health warnings
  • New combined text and pictorial health warnings
  • No packs of less than 20 cigarettes or 30g RYO may be sold
  • Increased restrictions in relation to how manufacturers may describe their products

After a one year sell-through period, retailers must only sell

EUTPD II standardised packs from May 20, 2017. It is estimated that this will make the cheapest pack of cigarettes on shelf around £9 and the cheapest RYO pack will be more than £12.

In 2019 a new security system will be introduced on the packs, which is designed to track and trace tobacco products. The system is designed to help tackle the illicit trade but the these changes come in two years after the removal of packs under 20s and 30g RYO, which many retailers and suppliers fear could encourage customers to buy from the black market.

By 2020, a ban on what EUTPD II calls ‘characterising flavours’ will be implemented. Most significantly, menthol products will join the ban from 2020