MEPs in the European Parliament’s Public Health Committee today voted to update the ten year old tobacco directive including provisions to ban the use of ‘characterising flavours’ (such as chocolate and menthol) and slim-style cigarettes which are designed to appeal to younger and/or female consumers to encourage them to take up smoking.
Apart from packaging and labelling, other provisions included ingredients, cross-border sales and traceability for the purposes of enforcing product safety standards.
Lib Dem European health spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor MEP welcomed the adoption of rules requiring that all cigarette packets in future should have health warnings covering at least 75% of the surface to make packaging far less appealing to consumers and discourage them from starting smoking. She said:
“One in two smokers dies as a direct result of their smoking and tobacco related diseases place a great burden on the NHS. Clear and visible health warnings on cigarette packets play a role in making tobacco less attractive, particularly to potential first time consumers, who are overwhelmingly young, as 94% of smokers start smoking before the age of 25. Continue reading