About the Scan
The Institute for Global Tobacco Control (IGTC) offers the Policy Scan Project as a resource for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of tobacco control. Our scans offer information on rapidly evolving regulatory approaches for emerging tobacco and nicotine products. The Policy Scan started in 2014 providing information on e-cigarette regulations in 68 countries. Since that time the Policy Scan has expanded to more countries, captured information on additional tobacco and nicotine products, and continues to be updated to provide the most accurate information possible.
Each of our policy scans contains webpages for the 194 member states recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). We also include information on other jurisdictions, such as territories or autonomous regions. These other jurisdictions are added to our site when we receive information on tobacco control regulations specific to these jurisdictions. Currently we include information in our policy scan for the following jurisdictions: England, Greenland, Guam, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. We add regulatory information to our policy scans as available and update them when new information is obtained. Each page contains text to indicate when the page was last updated. We also have semi-annual updates of all scans where we reach out to existing contacts to obtain information on any regulatory changes. These regularly scheduled updates occur each Fall (October/November) and Spring (March/April). To access these scans, click on the “Policy Scan” tab at the top of the website and use the dropdown menu to select the scan of interest.
Our inaugural policy scan sought to fill a gap in general understanding of how countries were regulating e-cigarettes –including the regulatory mechanisms used and the regulatory domains being applied. Through conducting this scan of regulatory approaches, we identified 68 countries regulating e-cigarettes and found that many of these countries were regulating these products using legislation that pre-dated the advent of e-cigarettes in their respective markets. Since our first scan of e-cigarette regulations, significant global legislative action has occurred to directly address this emerging tobacco product, which our policy scan will continue to track and report.
Heated tobacco products (HTPs) were our first expansion to a different tobacco product. HTPs heat tobacco to create a vapor that users inhale, and sometimes use electronic devices as heating elements. While similar in some ways to e-cigarettes, HTPs are a distinct class of tobacco products, with many countries using different regulatory frameworks to oversee the importation, marketing, sale, and other aspects of these products. Our HTP policy scan first launched in 2020 and continues to expand to additional countries and incorporating more complete information for each country included in the scan.
Our newest scan tracks regulatory approach towards nicotine pouches. Nicotine pouches, which may or may not be derived from tobacco, represent a new frontier for the tobacco industry. Capitalizing on advancements in science, these products are beginning to be marketed as tobacco-free products and are consequently evading many existing tobacco control regulations. Our nicotine pouch policy scan, launched in 2022, provides information on how (and whether) countries are regulating both tobacco derived and synthetic nicotine pouches.
How to Use the Scan
Each of our policy scans offer breakdowns of regulations by country, policy domain, product classification, and regulatory mechanism. After navigating to the policy scans, click the dropdown menu to select the area of interest for more detail. To compare two countries, navigate to the comparison menu and select two countries to view side-by-side. The domain and classification comparison option enables you to view which countries regulate which policy domains according to how they classify the products included in our scans. Lastly, when viewing a country page, you can click on a policy domain or product classification to see a listing of each country or other jurisdiction that has a regulation applicable to your selection.
To collect and confirm policy information for our scans we start by finding a knowledgeable in-country contact. These contacts generally include country bureaucrats, such as those working in a ministry of health, or other policy experts, such as those working in a non-governmental advocacy organization. Our staff sends email requests semi-annually to clarify interpretations of regulations and to request information on any newly adopted regulations. IGTC staff and legal scholars review regulations and related information received and incorporate this information into a draft policy scan. Once the draft scan is complete, it is emailed to the in-country contact for final confirmation or revisions. The confirmed scan information is then uploaded onto the live Policy Scan found on our website. We follow a systematic and thorough process to ensure the information we provide is verified and accurate to the best of our knowledge. Still, we always appreciate your input on ways to improve the scan. For questions or feedback, please send an email to IGTC.firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer as an in-country contact
If you would like to volunteer as an in-country contact for our scan, please send an email to IGTC.email@example.com with the following information: name, email, country, job description and place of work; how you learned about the Policy Scan, and whether you can provide updates twice a year on your country’s policies.