Consumer protection

Regulation Description
European Union
Medicines Directive
DIRECTIVE 2001/83/EC on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use (In Force)
(External Web Page)
This Directive imposes controls on the way medicinal products are sold within the European Union including restrictions on the advertising of medicinal products.  From 2016 the sale and marketing of electronic cigarettes will be regulated by the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive except where therapeutic claims are made or they contain over 20 mg/ml of nicotine, in which case they will require medicines authorisation and be governed by the Medicines Directive.
General Product Safety
EU Council Directive 92/59/EEC (In Force)
(External Web Page)
Although the regulations are not tobacco specific they cover items such as cigarette lighters – see below.  The regulations stipulate that no producer shall place a product on the market unless the product is a safe product.The EU regulatory committee has developed a standard for fire safer (reduced ignition propensity) cigarettes, ie cigarettes that have been modified to reduce the risk of accidental fires. The standard was adopted in August 2011 and manufacturers were required to ensure compliance by November 2011.

For more information on RIP cigarettes visit

Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 2328
(External Web Page)
The EC directive was implemented in England by Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 2328 as The General Product Safety Regulations 1994.
Child-resistant cigarette lighters (EC Commission Decision 2006/502/EC)
(External Web Page)
On 11 May 2006 the Commission adopted a Decision requiring Member States to ensure that disposable cigarette lighters sold in the EU are child-resistant. The Decision also prohibits the placing on the market of lighters which resemble objects that are particularly attractive to children. Luxury and semi-luxury lighters are excluded from the scope of the Decision but must comply with the general safety requirements for all these products. The law covers all disposable lighters which account for about 98% of lighters sold in the EU.

Return to top