Illustrative photo – The first meeting of the Senate in the post-election composition and in the 14th term of office of the upper chamber. November 2, 2022, Prague.
Prague – The sale of nicotine sachets is likely to be restricted so that children cannot freely buy them. Legally, these products will only be available to people over the age of 18. This is assumed by the parliamentary amendment to the Act on the Protection of Health from the Harmful Effects of Addictive Substances, which was approved by the Senate today. The draft will now be sent to the president for signature.
The amendment will introduce the same regulation for the sale of nicotine pouches that already applies to tobacco products or electronic cigarettes. Violation of the ban would be subject to a monetary penalty. “Nicotine pouches are becoming a phenomenon especially among the young generation, despite the fact that even doctors and addictologists confirm that the risk of developing nicotine addiction is huge for anyone, even more so for children and teenagers,” reasoned the authors of the amendment to restrict sales.
According to the draft, the ban on the sale of nicotine sachets to children and adolescents should apply not only to traditional stores, but also to vending machines and e-shops. Their operators will have to report the age verification system to the Ministry of Health in advance. The sale of nicotine pouches in health facilities, schools or events for children will be completely prohibited.
Deputy Martina Ochodnická (TOP 09) brought a package of nicotine sachets to the senators for the presenter, so that they could familiarize themselves with what she believed children were using. She noted that nicotine addiction occurs faster with these products than with traditional cigarettes. “We try to make sure that the children do not develop any addictions,” said Ochodnická. A related decree of the Ministry of Health, which it says will be effective from July, will limit the nicotine content of nicotine sachets and also adjust the appearance of the packaging.
The amendment will be effective 15 days after it is published in the collection. Sellers will then be given a three-month period to adapt to the regulation of the sale of nicotine pouches. Depending on the severity of the offense, natural persons could be fined up to 150,000 crowns for violating the ban. Companies would face fines of up to a million.
Nicotine bags are placed in the mouth between the gums and the upper or lower lip. They were originally intended for those who are trying to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. However, according to the authors of the amendment, experts have already registered two dozen cases of overdose of children connected with the use of nicotine sachets, in several cases they led to unconsciousness. advertising campaigns, where sellers offer customers, for example, a free bottle of beer for several packs of cigarettes. According to the upper chamber, so-called cross marketing support should not be possible in such cases.