Table 1

Flavour terms, definitions, rationale, tobacco products covered and implementation status, by country

CountryTermDefinition and prohibited flavoursRationaleTobacco productsImplementation status (as of August 2019)
USA15Characterising flavourThe Act prohibits any ‘constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke.’Protection of young personsCigarettes, roll-your-own tobaccoIn effect
Canada16 17FlavourNo definition. Canada does not define the term ‘flavours’ but uses the term in describing prohibited additives. ‘Additives that have flavoring properties or that enhance flavor, including - additives identified as flavouring agents by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives in the Committee’s evaluations, as published from time to time in the WHO Technical Report Series - additives identified as flavouring substances by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) Expert Panel in its lists of GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) flavouring substances referred to as ‘GRAS 3’ to ‘GRAS 24’ and subsequent GRAS lists … Fruits, vegetables or any product obtained from the processing of a fruit or vegetable., Spices, seasoning and herbs… Sugars and sweeteners, excluding starch’15
‘The Order will prohibit flavours, including menthol, in close to 95% of the tobacco products (based on total sales value) in Canada.’16
Protection of young persons
Protection of public health
Cigarettes, Cigars (<6 g), little cigars, blunt wrapsIn effect
Brazil19Flavour‘It is prohibited to import or sell in Brazil tobacco products that contain any of the following additives: I – synthetic and natural substances in any form (pure substances, extracts, oils, distillates, balms, among others), with flavoring properties that can impart, intensify, modify or enhance the flavor of the product, including additives identified as flavoring agents: a) by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives - JECFA; or b) by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association – FEMA … VI - fruits, vegetables or any product originating from the processing of fruits and vegetables, except activated charcoal and amides; VII – sweeteners, honey, molasses or any other substance that can impart a sweet flavor, apart from sugars; VIII – seasonings, herbs and spices or any substance that can impart a flavor of seasonings, herbs and spices’No rationale statement‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition as stated in the policy does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)Under litigation*
Ethiopia20Flavour‘any tobacco product that contains any content or ingredient, singly or in combination with other contents and ingredients, that in an un-combusted state or upon combustion or pyrolysis imparts a distinguishable taste or aroma, other than the taste or aroma of tobacco, including, but not limited to, tastes or aromas of fruit, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, cocoa, menthol, mint, alcoholic beverage, herb or spice.’Protection of young persons
Protection of public health
Protection of the environment
Obligation to WHO FCTC
‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition as stated in the policy does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)In effect
Uganda21FlavourNo definitionProtection of public health
Protection of the environment
Obligation to WHO FCTC
‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition as stated in the policy does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)In effect
Senegal22Characteristic aromatic agent
Aromatic agent
‘a taste or scent, other than that of the tobacco, coming from an additive or a combination of natural or artificial additives, particularly those derived from fruits, spices, aromatic plants, alcohol, sweetening elements, menthol, chocolate or vanilla, and which is identifiable prior to or during the consumption of the tobacco product’
‘an additive that confers, modifies or improves a flavor or scent, by itself or in conjunction with other ingredients’
Protection of public health
Obligation to WHO FCTC
‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition as stated in the policy does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)In effect
Niger23Flavour‘a taste or smell, other than that of tobacco, derived from an additive or combination of natural or artificial additives, especially fruit, spices, herbs, alcohol, confectionery, chocolate or vanilla; identifiable before or during the consumption of a tobacco product with the exception of menthol.’Protection of young persons and women.
Obligation to WHO FCTC
‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition, as stated in the policy, does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)Not in effect.
Mauritania24Ingredients‘any substance other than the leaves and other natural or untransformed or unprocessed parts of the tobacco plant used in the manufacture or preparation of a tobacco product and still present in the finished product, even in modified form, including the paper, filter, inks and glues’Protection of young persons
Protection of public health
Protection of the environment
‘Tobacco products containing partially or wholly in its composition tobacco leaf.’ (Definition as stated in the policy does not explicitly include or exclude products such as electronic cigarettes)Not in effect. Legislative provision to be ratified by a Decree
EU TPD25Characterising flavour‘characterising flavor means a clearly noticeable smell or taste other than one of tobacco, resulting from an additive or a combination of additives, including, but not limited to, fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy, menthol or vanilla, which is noticeable before or during the consumption of the tobacco product’Protection of young persons
Protection of public health
To facilitate the smooth functioning of the internal market for tobacco and related products
Obligation to WHO FCTC
Cigarettes (including capsules) and roll-your-own tobaccoComes into full effect on May 2020
Moldova26Characteristic flavour‘a clearly noticeable smell or taste other than one of tobacco, resulting from an additive or a combination of additives, including, but not limited to, fruit, spice, herbs, alcohol, candy, menthol or vanilla, which is noticeable before or during the consumption of the tobacco product.’Protection of young persons
Obligation to WHO FCTC
Cigarettes (including capsules) and roll-your-own tobaccoComes into effect on May 2020
Turkey27Characteristic flavour‘The scent or flavor noticed before or during the use of tobacco products that can be distinguished from the tobacco’s own flavor originating from an additive such as but not limited to fruit, spices, herbs, alcohol, sugar, menthol or vanilla’Protection of public health
In compliance with EU TPD
Cigarettes (including capsules) and rolling tobaccoComes into full effect on May 2020
Singapore28‘Flavour’No explicit definition for flavours. Policy applies to
‘aromatic oils, aromatic extracts, molasses or sugar, … [or] flavored with fruit.’
No rationale statementWater-pipe tobaccoIn effect
  • Canada: The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and Flavour and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) Expert Panel in its lists of GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) flavouring substances referred to as ‘GRAS 3’ to ‘GRAS 24’. In Canada, for cigars that weigh more than 1.4 g or 6 g or less (not including the ‘weight of any mouthpiece or tip’) rum, whisky, wine and port flavours are allowed (as long as the cigar does not have a cigarette filter, a tipping paper and has a wrapper fitted in spiral form); also, in cigars that weigh >6 g, there are no flavour restrictions (as long as the cigar does not have a cigarette filter, a tipping paper and has a wrapper fitted in spiral form).15 16 The order amending the schedule to the Tobacco Act (Menthol)16 removes menthol from the list of excluded additives, and by effect, menthol is added to the list of banned flavours.

  • *Brazil: ANVISA resolution no. 14 2012.17

  • FCTC, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; TPD, Tobacco Products Directive.