Hungarian media VG.hu reported on January 23 that the Hungarian regulatory agency, Regulated Activities Supervisory Authority (SZTFH), recently announced that stricter measures will be taken for violations of selling tobacco products to minors online, and they will face high fines, which may reach 5 million to 500 million forints.
Regulatory authorities have pointed out that a large amount of illegal tobacco trade has shifted from underground markets to online, and online tobacco trade has become the main area of activity for young people, where they can easily purchase tobacco products. These online stores directly target young people and promote fashionable, trendy but dangerous products through brightly colored pages.
SZTFH emphasizes that due to these violators evading local retail regulations and taking advantage of easier sales regulations in neighboring countries, this online sales behavior is illegal. For merchants who sell products only in tobacco stores online, fines may range from 5 million to 500 million forints. This fine also applies to the sale of various fragrant electronic cigarettes, including Elf Bar, etc.
In addition, SZTFH pointed out that these products may cause serious addiction problems, and their composition is often not rigorously checked. Untested equipment may pose a risk of overheating, explosion, and even serious injury. The institution also warned that customers may not ultimately receive hazardous products at an uncensored location after payment.
To address this issue, SZTFH advocates for amendments to laws that prevent minors from smoking and restrict the retail of tobacco products. This modification expands the scope of action for regulatory agencies, enabling them to collaborate with national media and communication regulatory agencies to jointly block websites that are illegally sold and aimed at local consumers.