Serbia clamps down e-cigarette sales to minors
Sellers of e-cigarettes and similar products will be fined around €430 for selling to minors, according to a recent amendment to the Law on Consumer Protection.
In Serbia, minors can purchase e-cigarettes and other products such as vapes in local markets, kiosks, and even in coffee shops, though sellers will now be fined for selling them.
“In the legislative system of the Republic of Serbia, this issue is not regulated. There is no definition of electronic cigarettes and other products with or without nicotine, as well as a ban on selling them to minors. This is precisely why the urgent need for regulatory action, which is being implemented now, is emphasised,” Serbia’s Internal and Foreign Trade Ministry told EURACTIV.
The relevant ministry announced that it is starting to work on amendments to the Law on Consumer Protection in this part because it believes that this is the solution to a major national problem.
“The main goal is to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and other products to minors, as a particularly sensitive category. In this way, sanctions will also be enabled in the case of the sale, service and gifting of these products,” the Ministry told EURACTIV.
With the new decision, a merchant will be fined 50,000 dinars (around €430) if they sell to a minor, the Ministry said.
The popularity of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems among non-smoking youth and adults represents a significant public health problem, as they encourage nicotine addiction and expose users to carcinogenic substances.
They also increase the likelihood that individuals will start using other tobacco products, such as cigarettes, according to the Ministry.
“The conclusion of all conducted research is that by consuming an electronic cigarette, with or without nicotine filling, not only water vapour is sent into the air, but also a number of chemicals. The harmful effects of these products reflect on the health of individuals and intensively spread to all components of the environment,” it added.
The change in the law will prohibit the sale, service and gifting of electronic cigarettes with or without nicotine as well as other products intended for smoking, snorting, sucking, chewing or inhaling vapour to persons under 18. It is also prohibited for persons under 18 to sell them.