Skip to main content
Public Health

Determination of characterising flavours in tobacco products

The Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) prohibits the placing on the market of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco with a characterising flavour. In order to facilitate the implementation of this provision, set out in Article 7 of the Directive, the Commission has adopted two implementing acts establishing the rules and mechanism for determining products with characterising flavours:

In developing the implementing legislation, the Commission has been supported by an external contractor, the Health Effects Tobacco Composition (HETOC) consortium in the context of a specific service contract. The task of HETOC was to assess existing approaches potentially suitable to determine characterising flavours in tobacco products and to develop and test a methodology for the identification of such flavours. The final report of the project can be found here.


In line with the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) and Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2016/786, an Independent Advisory Panel has been established assisting Member States and the Commission in determining whether or not a tobacco product has a characterising flavour. This Panel may request input from a technical group of sensory and chemical assessors established via a public procurement procedure.

More information: