Last updated: February 2, 2021
Sale of e-cigarettes
The sale of e-cigarettes is allowed subject to location-based sales restrictions, product notification requirements, and a minimum sales age.
Use in indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport
The law specifically provides that the restrictions on smoking in Secs. 29(1) and 30(2) apply to the use of e-cigarettes as well. Therefore, the law prohibits the use of e-cigarettes in some indoor workplaces and public places but allows use in designated smoking rooms in others, including state and local government facilities, higher education facilities, cultural institutions, and recreational facilities. In addition, the law prohibits the use of e-cigarettes on public transport except for local trains, long-distance trains, and passenger ships; for these, the use of e-cigarettes is permitted in designated smoking rooms.
Advertising and promotion (excluding point of sale product display)
The law prohibits most forms of advertising and promotion of “products related to tobacco products,” which includes e-cigarettes. However, there are a few exceptions, including for some cross-border publications. Other forms of advertising and promotion also appear to fall outside the ban. Therefore, the regulatory status code “Some Restrictions” is given.
The law prohibits the sponsorship (grant of material support) of “persons or activities . . . if the objective of the activity is to promote the sale or consumption of specific tobacco products or products related to tobacco products.” "Products related to tobacco products" include e-cigarettes. The sponsorship of organizations or governments is not specifically prohibited, and sponsorship by tobacco manufacturers not related to a specific product is not prohibited. In instances where sponsorship is permitted, the law explicitly allows information about the tobacco sponsor and the material support to be disclosed.
Point of sale product display
The law restricts point of sale product display of “products related to tobacco products,” which includes e-cigarettes. Specifically, the law prohibits point of sale product display except:
- in specialized shops, provided that products and trademarks are not visible from outside of the shop;
- on ships operating on international routes; or
- in shops operating in passenger ports or airports.
Only the brand name and price (in words) may be displayed.
Sale of e-cigarettes via the internet
The law explicitly prohibits retail trade in “products related to tobacco products,” which by definition includes e-cigarettes, through domestic and cross-border distance sales. Further, Sec. 31^2 of the Tobacco Act prohibits bringing e-cigarettes to Estonia through “distance sale.” “Distance sale” is defined in the Tobacco Act, and by reference to the Law of Obligations Act, as a sale where the consumer and seller are located in different places. Because internet sales are by their nature distance sales, all domestic and international internet e-cigarette sales are prohibited.
Flavors (other than tobacco flavor)
The law prohibits all flavorings except for the taste and smell of tobacco and menthol.
The law prohibits the following in nicotine-containing and nicotine-free liquid:
- vitamins or other additives that create the impression that a product has a health benefit or presents reduced health risks;
- caffeine, taurine or other additives and stimulant compounds that are associated with energy and vitality;
- additives having coloring properties for emissions; and
- substances that pose a risk to human health in heated or unheated form, except for nicotine.
Additionally, only ingredients of high purity may be used in the manufacture of nicotine-containing and nicotine-free e-cigarette liquid.
Health warnings on product packaging
The law requires the unit and outside packaging of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes and refill containers to carry text-only health warnings on 30% of the two largest surfaces (front and back). The text of the warning must read (in Estonian): “This product contains nicotine which is a highly addictive substance”.
The warning must be printed in black Helvetica Bold type on a white background with a font large enough for the relevant text to occupy the greatest possible proportion of the surface reserved for these health warnings.
Other product packaging and labeling requirements
In addition to the required health warning, packaging must display a list of ingredients in descending order of weight; an indication of the nicotine content and the delivery per dose; the batch number; and a recommendation to keep the product out of the reach of children. A leaflet containing instructions for use and storage and information on contraindications, possible adverse effects, addictiveness, and toxicity, among other things, must also be inserted in the product packaging.
The law prohibits packaging which misleads the consumer about its contents or resembles that of a food or cosmetic product. It also prohibits any labeling that:
- suggests that a particular product is less harmful or has vitalizing, energetic, healing, rejuvenating, natural, organic properties, or has other health or lifestyle benefits;
- refers to taste, smell, any flavorings, or other additives or the absence thereof;
- suggests that a certain tobacco product has improved biodegradability or other environmental advantages;
- suggests economic advantages; or
- includes any promotional offers.
Maximum nicotine concentration
The law states that the nicotine concentration cannot exceed 20 mg/ml in nicotine-containing liquid.
The law requires that e-cigarettes deliver nicotine doses at consistent levels under conditions of use prescribed by the manufacturer. It also requires that e-cigarettes and refill containers be child- and tamper-proof, protected against breakage and leakage, and have a mechanism that ensures refilling without leakage. Additionally, e-cigarettes and refill containers must comply with European Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/586 on technical standards for the refill mechanism of electronic cigarettes.
Manufacturer/importer disclosures and/or notification requirements
The law requires that e-cigarettes and refill containers be notified to the Health Board six months before they are placed on the market and for each substantial modification of the product. These notifications must contain information including contact details, ingredients, emissions, toxicological data, nicotine dose and uptake, a description of components, and a description of the production process.
The law prohibits the sale of “products related to tobacco products,” which is defined to include e-cigarettes, from schools, youth-oriented institutions, hospitals, pharmacies, and excise warehouses.
Sale of e-cigarettes via vending machines
The law prohibits the sale of “products related to tobacco products,” which is defined to include e-cigarettes, from automatic vending machines.