European Parliament tightens tobacco laws
The European Parliament has announced scaled back new laws for the sale and promotion of cigarettes than were originally proposed
9 October 2013
The European Parliament has accepted a draft law to make tobacco products less attractive to young people on 8 October. The new laws are less harsh than those that were originally proposed for the matter.
The new laws will see all packets of cigarettes carry a health warning covering at least 65% of the pack. This is a doubling in size from the 30% covering that currently stands. It was however proposed that the health warning should cover 75% of packets, it was agreed though to follow the suggesting from the tobacco industry of 65%.
This will come as a victory for the tobacco industry that is believed to have spent approximately €1 million euro on lobbying against harsher proposals.
The new laws will also see a ban of packs with fewer than 20 cigarettes in them be introduced. The proposal to ban slim cigarettes, which are seen to be attractive to young people, was rejected by MEPs
MEPS have also called for the ban of flavoured cigarettes which it feels make them too attractive to people. This will lead to the gradual removal of menthol cigarettes from the market over a proposed eight year period.
As part of the new laws, e-cigarettes will come under tighter regulations and a European Commission proposal to classify electronic cigarettes as medicinal products was also rejected.
Once the legislation is approved by the Council and Parliament, EU member states will have 18 months in which to translate the directive into their national laws.