Confédération Européenne des Détaillants en Tabac


The European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers (CEDT), founded in 1970, is a European Economic Interest Group that brings together national associations of tobacco retailers. We are part of the Transparency Register (n° 85326064523-94) in compliance with EEC 2137/89 Regulation.

The main purpose of CEDT is to promote the interests of almost 150,000 European tobacco retailers, professional figures serving their States and the citizens by ensuring the legality of the sales circuit, the authenticity and quality of peculiar products such as tobacco, supporting an adult and conscious consumption only, in line with national and European standards for health.

Our goal is to support and promote a continuous dialogue with Institutions and stakeholders to ensure that our small family enterprises can operate within a clear regulatory framework, marked by balance and proportionality. We support any necessary initiative concerning the recognition of our role as a legal defense against any kind of smuggling, counterfeiting and illegal trafficking. We support the promotion of sale systems controlled by the state.

We support the need for tobacco products to be sold exclusively through controlled channels, operating with a license or a concession.


    • 2020/04/29share:

      France: Government limits sale of nicotine substitutes

      Following the announcement of a possible protective effect of nicotine against Covid-19, the French government recently issued a decree in the government gazette to limit sales of nicotine substitutes in pharmacies and on the Internet.
      The aim of this decision is to prevent the health risks associated with excessive consumption or misuse of these products (patches, chewing gum, tablets, etc.) because of the media coverage of a possible protective action of nicotine against Covid-19.
      In addition, the decision is intended to ensure the continued and appropriate supply of people who need medical assistance to quit smoking. Until May 11, 2020, pharmacies will only deliver a limited number of boxes of up to one month's treatment to patients treated for tobacco addiction.
      In addition, Internet sales are suspended.
      French researchers hypothesized last Wednesday that nicotine may have a protective effect against Corona Virus. To test this hypothesis, preventive and therapeutic trials will be conducted on patients with nicotine patches at the Pitié-Salpétrière hospital in Paris.

    • 2020/04/28share:

      France: Tobacconists to sell protective masks from 30 April

      The 24.500 French tobacconists will start selling protective masks before the official date May 4 announced by Mrs Agnès Pannier-Runacher Minister of State attached to Finance Minister. Firstly, from April 30 priority will be given to the craftmen, hairdressers and all those who rework. Then, at the beginning of May, they will sell them individually to all their customers at 5 euros per unit. These masks made in France offer a high level of protection, and meet the specifications set by Afnor and health authorities. Moreover, Production reached more than 10 million masks last week and the supply will increase rapidly to exceed 25 million washable masks per week at the end of April. The tobacconists, in the thick of the action against the COVID-19, have shown their ability to react to support citizens in this period of health crisis.

    • 2020/04/21share:

      Italy: free delivery of protective masks against coronavirus

      From Friday 16 April, all residents of the Liguria region will receive COVID-19 protective masks in secure packaging at home in their mailboxes. This is the first agreement between the Liguria Region in Italy and the Italian Post Office, which will deliver all the inhabitants free of charge. For municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants, the Post Office will deliver the masks to the town halls, which will hand out them to their residents. This first delivery should be completed within the end of April. From May, the network of pharmacies and newsagents, many of which are tobacconists, will be in charge of handing out them to the Liguria citizens. Other regions in Italy are following suit with the free distribution of protective masks available in pharmacies and tobacconists.

    • 2020/04/21share:

      Spain: Denied application to close the tobacconists

      The Spanish government's decision to authorize the opening of tobacconists regarded as “essential activities” for the country was turned down by an association, which immediately asked, unsuccessfully, to modify the decree in order to ban their opening. According to, tobacco is not a staple commodity and cannot be compared with foodstuff or medicine. The Spanish tobacconists President, Mrs Elena Viana, reminded that they are administrative workers, public utility service retailers and do not sell only tobacco, but also other products like phone cards (highly in demand these days), newspapers, money transfer, etc.… In addition, tobacconists based in rural areas play a key role because they are often the only point of sale for food and basic necessities.
      Mrs Elena Viana, the Spanish Tobacconists President at work in her store

    • 2020/04/21share:


      Philippe Coy, the French tobacconists President announced that the Confederation of Tobacconists will send free of charge to the 20,200 adhering tobacconists 5 high-tech reusable fabric protective masks (triple layer, certified by the medical profession and made in France). These protective masks will be delivered between April 24 and April 27. Furthermore, following the French Prime Minister statements regarding the end of the corona virus lockdown planned for Monday 11 May, it is clear that face masks will be used increasingly. All French people will be invited to wear protective masks that are already mandatory on trains.

    • 2020/04/20share:

      Austria: Finance Minister sends a thank-you letter to tobacconists

      FolOn left: Gernot Blümen, Finance Ministerlowing an article in an important Austrian political newspaper that praised the Austrian tobacconists’ participation in the handling of coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel sent a thank-you letter to the tobacconists for Easter. After reminding the lockdown measures taken to protect the population from the coronavirus, he highlighted the efforts made by the profession: "I am aware that it is not always easy under these circumstances. However, thanks to your tireless efforts, you are making an important contribution to this exceptional situation. Moreover, you are the point of reference and contact for customers, to whom you make everyday life easier. I want to thank you very sincerely for this work and I am asking you to push on with your actions. I am convinced that if we carry on working together, we will come out of this crisis stronger. I wish you all the best, Happy Easter and good health

      On the left: Gernot Blümen, Finance Minister


    • 2020/02/26share:


      On February 20, the Financial Police of Naples (Guardia di Finanza) uncovered three clandestine cigarette factories located in the Naples area and seized 4 tonnes of counterfeit cigarettes ready to be put on the market. Moreover, eight Moldavian citizens caught in the act inside the factory buildings were arrested.

      The Neapolitan Financial Police had been observing unusual working activities for a while inside a disused industrial facility that remained operating even by night. When entering the factory, they discovered a real tobacco production plant with machinery functioning perfectly. Started from bulk tobacco, they assembled and packed the cigarettes. Then they packaged them in boxes of 50 cartons.

      The Neapolitan Financial Police also identified two other production sites close to Naples, which constituted a single production chain. In Somma Vesuviana, in addition to machinery, they seized 7 fine-cut tobacco tons and in Saviano they found a huge quantity of tools and wrapping paper to pack cigarettes. The production capacity of the entire supply chain has been estimated at least 3.5 tonnes of cigarettes a day. The seizure of 39 machineries and illegal tobacco products amounts 12 million euros.

      A video is available on the Guardia di Finanza website pasting the following link:

    • 2020/02/21share:


      Spanish police (Civil Gard) rescued six workers who were left trapped in a counterfeit cigarette factory located in a bunker four metres underground in the Malaga area. When Spanish officers entered the clandestine factory, they found six Ukrainian workers inside who were having serious difficulties breathing because the generator that was used to pump air into the bunker had run out of gas. The factory was capable of producing more than 3,500 cigarettes an hour and the manufacturing complex was fitted with living quarters and beds. Police arrested 20 people suspected of running the operation but none of them mentioned that six Ukrainian workers were still locked inside it. Among those arrested was a 30-year-old British citizen. Europol said the workers had been forced to work in extremely dangerous and toxic conditions and were not allowed to leave the facility on their own. It suspects the criminal group distributed the cigarettes on the European black market. As part of the operation, police seized 153,000 packs of cigarettes as well as a quantity of cannabis resin and marijuana. According to both Europol and Spanish Civil Gard it was the first underground counterfeit cigarette factory discovered in the European Union. More information in the following press releases: Four metres underground illegal cigarette factory uncovered in bunke in pain and  La Guardia Civil desmantela la primera fábrica clandestina de tabaco "underground" de Europa

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    Special Focus

      • 2020/03/27share:


        For many years, there has been a worldwide growing interest in the use of cannabis for therapeutic or recreational purposes. Although the European Parliament approved the resolution on the medical use of cannabis in 2019, clear regulations on recreational cannabis are becoming essential.

        Recreational cannabis was not always regarded as an illicit product for its consumption was widespread throughout the world in the 19th century. It was at the beginning of the 20th century that cannabis started to be seen as a drug and the first prohibition laws on consumption date back to the 1930s. In 1961, the United Nations ratified the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs authorising the production and use of narcotic drugs only for medical or scientific purposes. Thus, cannabis even with very low THC levels has been reduced to the generic concept of a mere narcotic.

        Even though some countries have decriminalized or legalized the use of recreational cannabis, such as Uruguay, Canada and some US States, this sensitive product is still largely banned. Therefore, its sale in the hands of clandestine networks or spontaneous shops that take advantage of the "confusion" on the product profile does not provide health guarantees, protect consumers and generate tax revenue to States. Consequently, its growing popularity requires filling this legal loophole through a regulation to control the sector from production to distribution and up to the final consumer.

        According to our organization with representatives from eight European countries, there are big differences between States in the legal and trade approach to this product.

        We believe it essential that consumers be well informed about the different forms of the product and its derivatives (marijuana, hashish, resin, oil, etc.) as well as the range of its uses (industrial, therapeutic, well-being and recreational).

        In addition, the THC and CBD levels contained in the cannabis plant makes the product risky to consumer health, thus classifying it among the sensitive products, such as tobacco for example.

        Furthermore, our 160,000 tobacco retailers in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary and Italy are responsible individuals having necessary experience and appropriate technological tools to guarantee effective quality control and product sale, protect minors and consumers and ensure regular tax revenue.

        In conclusion, in the framework of the cannabis legalisation, this particularly sensitive product should not be sold on open sale but entrusted to a network of controlled retailers allowing thus to limit and regulate access to cannabis. Therefore, CEDT considers that the tobacco retailing networks, retailers of a sensitive and particular product such as tobacco, are the perfect trade to fulfil this mission.



      Press Room


      2020/05/07 Covid-19 crisis

      2019/10/17 Inauguration of the CEDT premises

      2019/04/30 Video of the demonstration in Bruxelles


      Press Releases


          • 2020/02/21share:


            For the first time, the chief executives of the European State Tobacco Monopolies met in Vienna in Austria on February 11 and 12, 2020. Hosted by the Austrian administration, this first meeting brought to a round-table discussion the Austrian, Italian, Hungarian and Spanish managers.
            The CEDT, represented by Peter Schweinschwaller, contributed significantly to put in contact the European monopoly administrations and supported the first exchange.

            In the afternoon of February 11, the attendees compared the sales systems by discovering the similarities and differences.

            In the evening, Peter Schweinschwaller and Gergely Karacsony got to know the state tobacco monopoly representatives better during a welcome dinner.

            On the second day, February 12, the CEDT presented its work, especially that with European institutions and organizations. The event was an occasion for highlighting the good relationship with the Austrian Tobacco Monopoly Administration.

            The discussions were expanded to new products including Cannabis, Best Practice and know-how sharing between European administrations.

            We thank Mr. Hannes Hofer, Director of the Austrian State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, for inviting the CEDT to participate in the event and be part of this new discussion group.

            A number of other meetings will be organized in which CEDT will be involved.

          • 2019/09/24share:


            At the CEDT General Assembly held at its headquarters in Brussels on 24 September, two national associations joined the CEDT as new members: Prodipresse from Belgium, whose president is Mr Xavier Deville and MUT from Germany, whose president is Mr Horst Goetschel. Prodipresse is the professional organisation of independent French-speaking booksellers/newsagents and tobacconists in Belgium . MUT is the professional organization that represents medium-sized tobacco companies, especially tobacco retailers.

          • 2019/09/24share:


            From left to right : Giovanni Catelli (Italy) Theo Mallios (Greece) Elena Viana (Spain)
            Philippe Coy (France) Peter Schweinschwaller (Austria) Antal Lengyel (Hungary)

            The CEDT, as partner of Intertabac, the world's largest tobacco fair, gave a conference on the future of the network of European tobacco retailers at the 2019 Edition. For the first time, European networks of regulated tobacco outlets are represented. The CEDT Chairman, Peter Schweinschwaller, who presented the organization, missions and projects of the CEDT said : "Our interests were not represented formerly; we were lost in the crowd of the Intertabac’s visitors. Now we have surfaced. Our messages were expressed”. During the conference, representatives of the Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Austrian and French networks spoke about their respective and common news.
            Italy pointed out the importance of the role and the figure of the tobacconist: a professional with the necessary training to sale sensitive products such as tobacco. In addition, Italy pointed up the need to clearly regulate NGPs, in particular cannabis.
            France highlighted the Tobacconist’s Transformation Plan to maintain their centred-citizens services as part of a policy of sharp rise in tobacco prices.
            Spain warned about a double phenomenon of illegal trafficking: the emergence of some thirty clandestine cigarette factories and the smuggling of tobacco leaves.
            Austria outlined that the most important criterion for selection as a tobacconist is an existing disability of at least 50% and the legal loophole that does not allow them to sell cannabis while other traders do.
            Greece focused on the historical peculiarity of its kiosks that benefit from the fact that they are located in key positions, their sales are based on spontaneous purchases and they sell a variety of products, despite the limited space they have available.
            Hungary informed that the Hungarian government plans to ban the sales of tobacco entirely within the next 20 years. All countries talked about the changing markets for next-generation tobacco products and light cannabis.
            The whole countries stressed the importance of the tobacconists’ role in the recent developments on the market of NGPs and cannabis light.

          • 2019/09/24share:


            On 24 September 2019, the CEDT inaugurated its new premises in Brussels in attendance of its members, MEPs and representatives of the main European institutions. In a friendly atmosphere, the CEDT Chairman presented the team of national presidents of the eight European associations.

            Thanking the guests for attending and their interest in the organisation, President Peter Schweinschwaller pointed out that the CEDT is a network of 160,000 family businesses with 600,000 employees in Europe: professional figures serving their States and the citizens by ensuring the legality and quality of peculiar products as tobacco, supporting an adult and conscious consumption only.

            In conclusion, the President expressed his willingness to promote a continuous dialogue with institutions and all stakeholders to ensure to the tobacco retailers to operate within a regulatory framework, marked by balance and proportionality.



          • 2019/07/23share:


            From left to right: Ernst Koresta (Deputy Manager of Austrian Monopoly Agency), Giovanni RIsso (FIT Chairman), Hannes Hofer (Manager of the Austrian Monopoly Agency), Barbara Toxiri (European Affairs Manager in FIT), Marco Ganassi (European Affairs Department in FIT), Stefano Bartoli (FIT General Manager) and Gianluca Basso (European Affairs Department in FIT)

            Before meeting the Manager of the Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Benedetto Mineo, the Manager of the Austrian Monopoly Agency, Hannes Hofer and his Deputy Chief Executive Officer Ernst Koresta visited the representatives of the Italian Federation of Tobacconists to get a brief talk on the tobacconists’ economic situation in Europe. Hofer said the two Monopoly agencies will work together to involve other European administrations with a similar system.

            on the left : Benedetto Mineo, Italian Customs and Monopoly Agency Manager - on the right : the Austrian Monopoly Agency Manager, Hannes Hofer

            This is the first meeting between Mineo and Hofer at the Monopoly Agency Place Mastai in Rome in the context of institutional relationships between the European administrations responsible for tobacco regulation. Main topics discussed: distributing and selling tobacco in both countries, comparing the rules of location and implementation of tobacco shops, the types of products concerned and the ban on sales to minors.

          • 2019/07/10share:


            On May 8, 2019 thousands of tobacconists demonstrated in the streets of Rome to oppose the government's political and economic choices that affect the whole profession. Arrived in the capital from all over Italy, the tobacconists, as entrepreneurs, asked for the setting up of a long-term policy on tobacco products, new generation products and gambling.

            The CEDT chairman, Peter Schweinschwaller, was present in Rome on May 8 to provide personal support to the Italian tobacconists, on the occasion of the demonstration whose slogan was: Save our tobacconists! "Your fight is our fight! It is with this motto that Chairman Peter Schweinschwaller, sent a message of solidarity to thousands of tobacconists came from all over Italy to demonstrate.

            Giovanni Risso, chairman of the Italian Federation of tobacconists, clearly articulated the needs of the profession by stating: "We are seasoned and determined to get answers. Tobacco is the product that identifies us, since the state allowed us to sell it by paying us a percentage of selling price. Thus, this remuneration has not changed for 27 years. It is high time that the government increases it but with a few reservations. I am referring to new generation products which require a lower taxation compared to the traditional tobacco products".

            Thanks to the participation of the current President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who has always paid attention to the tobacconists’ requests and, thanks to the CEDT Chairman, the message did not stay in Rome but reached Brussels. In addition, Tajani said on the platform in front of the protesters: "In Brussels, you will always find a friend who defends the rights of those who, such as yourselves, respect and enforce the rules". He also welcomed the importance of their social role and proximity services".

            During this day, the Italian tobacconists strongly recalled: "We want to be listened to."

          • 2019/02/21share:


            On 23 November 2018, at the invitation of the Hungarian Alliance of Tobacconists’ Chairman, Antal Lengyel, who is the ECRT’s Chairman as well, the ECRT’s members visited the National exhibition of Hungarian retailers of monopoly goods and attended a conference on the subject. That was a very important event for the whole sector with the participation of many representatives of the Magyar political and institutional world.

            The European tobacconists were hosted at the Hungarian Parliament

            The ECRT’s members also visited the Hungarian Parliament where they met the Vice-President of Parliament, Istvan Jakab, to speak about issues related to tobacco regulations approved recently. Mr Jakab not only praised the excellent economic results of Hungarian tobacconists, but also the decline in smoking due to the adoption of State Monopoly on the Retail Sale of Tobacco.

            The Plain Tobacco Packaging Measure is not convincing

            On the occasion of the conference organised by the Hungarian Alliance of Tobacconists, it is increasingly recognized that the plain tobacco packaging has no effect on smoking prevalence, as evidenced by the French experience.

            Following tough oppositions between the Hungarian Authority and representatives of the Magyar Alliance of Tobacconists supported by the CEDT, the Orban government decided to postpone the introduction of the plain tobacco packaging until 2022 while scheduled on May 2019.

            Vice-President (third from right), Magyar Alliance of Tobacconists’ Chairman Antal Lengyel (second from right) with the ECTR’s members.

            The exclusive sales of products different from traditional cigarettes are needed

            Five years after the introduction of State Monopoly on the Retail Sale of Tobacco, Hungary is the most recent proof that this type of sale guarantees a better quality control and young smoking prevention.

            Therefore, it appears urgent to adopt the same measures as those in place for tobacco products to face possible illegal sales of new smoking products different from traditional cigarettes.

          • 2019/02/11share:


            On 6 February at the ECTR's headquarters in Brussels, the members meeting in a General Assembly elected a new Chairman and executive body.

            from left to right: Philippe Coy Vice-Chairman (France), Mario Espejo Aguilar Member (Spain), Theodoros Mallios Member (Greece), Peter Schweinschwaller Chairman (Austria), Giovanni Risso Secretary-General (Italy), Antal Lengyel Treasurer (Hungary)

            Peter Schweinschwaller (Austria) was elected Chairman, Philippe Coy (France) Vice-Chairman, Giovanni Risso (Italy) Secretary General and Antal Lengyel (Hungary) Treasurer.

            Peter Schweinschwaller, representative of Austrian tobacco retailers, wants to highlight and promote the social and economic role of this convenience store network to the European institutions. Its 150,000 points of sale welcome 40% of the European population. Moreover, he is looking forward to further expanding its membership by recruiting other European tobacco retailers ' associations whose interests converge with those of the current members. He aims to strengthen contacts within the tobacco sector to better fight against illegal trafficking.

            from left to right: Philippe Coy, Vice-Chairman and Peter Schweinschwaller, Chairman of the ECTR.

            As part of his first missions, Chairman Peter Schweinschwaller and his team will develop a common position on products treated as tobacco, thanks to constant exchanges with relevant stakeholders: ECTR's members, institutional actors and tobacco sector operators. In addition, Peter Schweinschwaller considers that these daily meetings with European citizens and a better knowledge of this sales network based on a system of authorisations and licenses, controlled by Regulatory Authorities punctually, are a major asset for effective communication on public health issues.

            from left to right: Ernst Koresta, Vice-Chairman of Austrian Tobacco Monopoly Administration, Prirschl Josef, WKO Chairman.

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          European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers.
          Rue Montoyer, 31 B-1000 BRUXELLES
          Phone: +32 (0) 7721305