Update on tougher tobacco rules from the EP

On 8th october, I decided to post something about a vote in the EP regarding tobacco marketing and labelling. Here is an update…

MEP’s have voted on 8th october in order to implement stricter rules, adopting a position which is essentially comparable to what decided member states in the Council last June. Difference of opinion between the council of Ministers and the EP were not very importants so health campaigners and lobbies thought that the legislation will be be approved before the end of the current parliamentary term.

It was voted on 8th october during the plenary session to increase pictorial warning on tobacco boxes from 30% of the whole surface to 65%. MEP’s also refused like the council a ban on slim cigarettes even though they appeared to be more attractive for young women. But they agreed on the idea to ban the addition of artificial flavours with an exception for menthol.

MEP’s preferred to treat e-cigarettes as tobacco products even if the council wanted to deal with such products with a medical classification. Especially in countries such as France, market authorization is quite complicated and time-consuming and e-cigarettes manufacturers warned MEP’s about that. No more than 30mg/ml of nicotine content will be allowed, no sale for people aged below 18.

MEP’s Rapporteure Mc Lavan was given a mandate to negociate with the council. This is a great news because without this mandate, it would have been impossible to reach an agreement before the up-coming european election of 2014. According to Tonio Borg, the European Commissioner for health, it is possible to adopt a law within the mandate of the current parliament. Significant steps needed before this directive could become law.

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