Strict new EU rules on tobacco products are being delayed by a debate on how to regulate electronic cigarettes.
The European parliament has pushed for a light-touch approach to what it regards as a less harmful alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.
But with a lack of evidence on the long-term health impact of e-cigarettes, many EU governments have called for more restrictive rules.
One of the main sticking points is flavours. A ban on menthol is expected before the new rules are finalised, as well as those particularly attractive to children, such as vanilla.
Another issue is parliament’s demand that e-cigarettes can be sold with refillable nicotine cartridges. Many member states want single-use items.
Some governments, including Britain and Germany, are concerned that at the nicotine concentration level of 20 milligrams per millilitre being discussed, one 10 ml refill cartridge would contain more nicotine than a carton of 200 cigarettes.
The new anti-tobacco controls could be delayed by up to two years, unless negotiators can reach a compromise during talks taking place this week.