EU fuel retailers exit from the tobacco market

With the public consultation on the review of tobacco legislation, the EU Commission emphatically underlines its political goal of a "tobacco-free Europe":

Distributors of tobacco and nicotine products are being asked whether they have already made preparations for an "exit from the market".

An alliance of the associations of tobacco wholesalers, retailers, petrol stations and industry is calling on all retailers to speak out clearly on the EU plans and, to support them, is currently distributing instructions in the sales outlets on how to participate in the EU survey, which runs until 16 May 2023.

The EU Commission wants to restrict and complicate the legal sale of tobacco and nicotine products with a stricter prohibition policy. Plain packaging for tobacco products, flavouring bans for e-cigarettes or advertising bans and restrictions on the presentation of goods in shops – there is a threat of a massive attack on sales and earnings of the trade.

However, the EU Commission is obliged to obtain the opinion of citizens and stakeholders before changing the EU rules and therefore conducts a public consultation on its website.

Initiative of several associations

"As small entrepreneurs, retailers are directly affected economically by the EU Commission's plans to tighten tobacco rules. That is why their opinion has a special weight in this survey and must be taken into account," said Steffen Kahnt, Managing Director of the Federal Association of Tobacco Retailers (BTWE), explaining the importance of a numerically strong participation of retailers in the EU survey.

Claus Obholzer, Managing Director of the Federal Association of German Tobacco Wholesalers and Vending Machine Operators (BDTA) added: "Whether specialist shop, kiosk, petrol station or supermarket – only if you speak out clearly together with the thousands of retailers in Germany and Europe can we still stop the EU plans. Please take part in the survey and tell the EU Commission what you think!"

The alliance of the Federal Association of Tobacco Products Retailers (BTWE), the Federal Association of German Tobacco Products Wholesalers and Vending Machine Operators (BDTA), Central Association of the Petrol Station Industry (ZTG) and the Federal Association of the Tobacco Industry and Novel Products (BVTE) is calling for participation in the survey under the motto "Don't let the EU ruin your business!"

Instructions with helpful tips and hints on participation in the German sales outlets are distributed by post and as a delivery supplement of the wholesaler. It explains the registration process for the survey, points out key questions and shows how the EU Commission can be informed in its own words.

Participation in the EU survey, which is not very user-friendly, is thus made as easy as possible for the individual retailer and at the same time the time required is kept to a minimum.

The instructions for participation and the joint call of the associations are available – also in Turkish, Russian and Arabic – on this website: