On March 15 2017, Hungary voted the application of the European TPD (Tobacco Products Directive), similarly to what other European countries had done in the previous months.
Hungary decided to ban distance sales of electronic cigarettes or e-liquids and to outlaw all flavors, such as menthol, fruits but also classical aromas (implementation planned in 2020). In doing so, Hungary immediately ranked among the most severe countries towards vaping.
Forbidding aromas sounded like the exact echo of a recommendation of the Hungarian National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI). Indeed, they had stated that “Smoking imitation devices, electronic cigarettes and refill container may not contain flavoring”. Moreover, the fee that applies for all notifications of compliant products is one of the highest in Europe.
As regards to the taxation, the Parliament was supposed to vote a legislation. This law was planning a gradual increase of taxes on e-liquids whatever the concentration in nicotine may be. From 55 HUF per milliliter today up to 70 HUF in July, namely a steep increase of almost 28%. But the Parliament has eventually decided to repeal this text, to exclude e-liquids with no nicotine from any form of taxation. They also decided to fix the taxation level for e-liquids with nicotine at 55 HUF per milliliter.
This positive gesture towards the vaping industry and the Hungarian vapers is however quite insufficient. Representative Istvan Svazay has expressed his profound disapproval of this taxation given that ‘these devices offer a much healthier alternative than cigarettes”.
Hungary is today lagging behind in terms of tobacco use reduction, with 33% of smokers among the adult population. The Hungarian government is spending millions to treat smoking-induced diseases. This spending is allegedly 250 million euros superior to the amount of tax revenue it receives from tobacco product.
Daily News Hungary