The turnover of unmarked tobacco products intended for consumption by heating and unmarked smoking mixtures for hookah that do not contain tobacco has been banned in Russia since October 1, 2023.
This is provided for by the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of February 28 , 2019 . (N 224), which approved the rules for labeling tobacco and nicotine-containing products.
"From today we can declare that the labeling of such nicotine-containing products has been fully implemented - now it is possible to legally sell sticks and mixtures for hookahs exclusively with labeling codes," said the director for the protection of the turnover of legal products of the CRPT (labeling operator) Maxim Kurgansky, who is quoted in the press release of the center.
According to him, for this market, an unprecedented long time was given for labeling residues and decommissioning products without codes: the transition period lasted 18 months. "First of all, it was done at the request of the business. I am sure that we will see positive dynamics in the whitewashing of the market of these products in the near future," Kurgansky said.
According to the press release, more than 52 thousand retail participants in the turnover of heated tobacco are registered in the state labeling system "Honest Sign". The total number of retail outlets that brought sticks for electronic tobacco heating systems into retail sale in 2023 amounted to more than 181 thousand. To date, the share of illicit trafficking in the entire tobacco market, including nicotine-containing products, is estimated at 13.3%.
CRPT also cited the opinion of market participants. Thus, the press service of Philip Morris International affiliated companies in the Russian Federation is confident in the effectiveness of the labeling system and considers it one of the important tools for increasing market transparency. It is important to continue working to create a balanced and systemic regulatory environment without resorting to excessive restrictions, while maintaining predictability and a sufficient planning horizon for the introduction of new standards, which will eliminate the prerequisites for the formation of illegal trafficking as such, the company said.
"Labeling of nicotine-containing tobacco products and, first of all, sticks for tobacco heating systems is an effective measure to whitewash this market segment. To fully realize the potential of this mechanism, it is important to get all market participants to fulfill the requirements for working with labeled products. Including by more actively involving law enforcement agencies in control measures and their focus on identifying and suppressing the turnover of illegal products," said Oleg Barvin, Director of the Department of Legal Affairs and External Corporate Relations of the ITMS Group of companies (Kent, Rothmans, Lucky Strike, glo and others).