The European Commission has proposed a more environment health warnings on cigarettes and tobacco, and a total ban on the strong flavors in a move that may force tobacco companies to rethink how they sell their products in the 27-member bloc.
If passed, the new proposal would ban so-called “Slims”, slim cigarettes are produced on most tobacco companies and intended mainly to women, and the force of the popular flavors such as large doses of menthol, is seen as more attractive to young people. Combination picture warnings and text health should cover at least 75% of all cigarette packages and leave any action. At present, only 10 Member States require health warnings with pictures.
Countries such as Brazil already prohibit flavors such as menthol, while Australia has recently passed a law requiring cigarettes for sale in a simple package.
The Commission, the executive body of the European Union, also confirmed the ban on the export of wet powder Swedish snus, a great defeat the Swedish government and it’s chewing billion industries. Industry has long advocated for the ban to be lifted, and an estimated $ 2.3 billion market opened up. Popular flavors of snus sold in Sweden, for example, mint and vanilla, may also be prohibited in accordance with the Commission’s proposal to ban “characterizing flavor”, the nature of which will be made a test panel. Oral tobacco products should also carry health warnings.
The proposed regulations for the prevention of tobacco use, especially among young people, and the harmonization of legislation of tobacco, require skilled and majority approval by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. If this happens, the new legislation is expected to be adopted in 2014 and entered into force in 2015, at the earliest, the commission.
The proposal, for two years in the making, was quickly drawn sharp criticism from the tobacco industry, which is struggling with falling cigarette sales rose amid warnings about lung cancer and other adverse health effects.
EU sales fell to 576 billion cigarettes in 2011, falling by more than 100 billion cigarettes in 2007, according to a June report, KPMG consultant for Philip Morris International, Inc
At the beginning of the reaction, British American Tobacco Group PLC, the second-largest listed tobacco group by revenue after Philip Morris, said the directive is “out of proportion” and possibly a violation of European law.
“We will continue to make our voice heard in the next year,” said a spokesman for the British group.
Peer Imperial Tobacco Group PLC is also said that many of the proposals of the block are “disproportionate and unjustified.”
“The increase in graphic health warnings do not give the consumer any additional information about the health risks of smoking,” said a spokesman for Imperial. “We remain confident of continued strong growth and development of our business in the EU,” he said.
But in statement, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said: “The figures speak for themselves: tobacco kills half of its users and is highly addictive Consumers should not be deceived. Tobacco products should look and taste like tobacco and this offer, make sure that attractive packaging and flavors are not used as a marketing strategy. “
According to the EU Commission, tobacco kills about 700,000 people each year, and smoking-related, treatment will cost at least € 25.3 billion ($ 33.47 billion) annually in the EU alone.