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Tough EU standards on tobacco products protect the youth

Date

26 Feb 2014

Sections

Health & Consumers
The new EU Directive on tobacco products is set to take effect. Today, the European Parliament approved the new standards on which there is an agreement with Council. "Tobacco is not an everyday good. We have done what people expect of us: to tighten up the tobacco law to ensure maximum health protection", said Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP who is in charge of the Tobacco Products Directive for the EPP Group.
 
"Tobacco products ought to be as little attractive to young people as possible. The number of young people who smoke is unacceptably high. This is why the packaging can no longer serve to promote tobacco products or play down the health risks. The message must be clear: hands off such addictive substances! Health and youth protection must be paramount", said Florenz.
 
The main provisions of the new Directive include:
 
    Warning labels including photos covering 65% of the front and rear packaging;
    A ban on flavoured cigarettes;
    More detailed reporting on tobacco products' ingredients;
    A ban on misleading or appeasing features on the packaging which play down the health risks;
    A ban on cigarettes containing menthol by 2020;
    The stepping-up of the fight against the illegal trafficking of tobacco products including the introduction of a traceability scheme;
    E-cigarettes will continue to be available on the market and not be restricted to pharmacies. Council, however, has said it would need to discuss the issue of the refilling devices.
 
"Nobody wants to rule out e-cigarettes, but we need to ensure safety standards. Besides, smuggling is a huge problem in Europe. Member States not only lose billions of tax revenue, but protection standards are also undermined", concluded Florenz.
 
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
 
MEP Contacts
Karl-Heinz FLORENZ
BRU - Tel: +32 (0)2 2845320 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849320
STR - Tel: +33 (0)3 88 175320 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179320
 
Press Contacts
Thomas Bickl
Phone: +32 478 21 53 72

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