MEPs debate proposal to make smoking unattractive

Draft rules on tobacco additives and labeling, and the likely effect of updating the EU Tobacco Products Directive on public health, business and tax revenues were examined in an Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee debate with Ireland’s Health Minister James Reilly and Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Toni Borg on Monday.

A combination photo shows illustrations obtained by Reuters of some of the proposed models of cigarettes packsTobacco rules on its addictive and labeling update the EU Tobacco Products, influenced public health, business and tax revenues; all these were examined in an Environment.

Health Minister James Reilly gave a proper pledge to discussing smoking problem and called for measures to this end of tobacco products regulation.

Commissioner Borg approved the proposal saying that tobacco should look like tobacco and its taste should be like tobacco as well, without any addictives like vanilla or fruits. These products are produced to be attractive for youth. Let’s not forget that a lot of people start smoking below the age of 25 and a big part of people begin to do this from their minority.

EP reporter Linda Mc Avan noting the main hey is to help smokers. Karl Heinz Florenz stressed that many chemical ingredients of cigarettes are very toxic.

Frédérique RiesS is also stressed of the need to be more radical on toxic addictives. She asked Mr. Reilly about the prospects in the Council given the reluctance of some member states. Mr. Schlyter mentioned that nicotine is very powerful drug and cause dependency, so the kid’s should be regulated in a strict way.

 “Any smoker we can persuade to quit is a good mood”.

Anna Rosbach proposed to play “devil’s advocate “by raising questions about the revenues generated by tobacco and freedom. Everyone needs to be protected, but don’t forget that govs need the revenues generated by tobacco. The fiscal impact is something that have to be in the person’s mind.

Oreste Rossi (EFD, IT) worried that “if too many limits are placed upon people, we might end up promoting trade in illegal cigarettes. 60% of our cigarettes in EU today are illegal and who’s guaranteeing their quality?” he asked. Mr Borg replied by highlighting the security and tracking provisions proposed in the directive.

Martina Anderson (GUE, UK) stressed her determination to strengthen the proposal, adding that she concurred with “comments made on 100% coverage of the package with warnings”.

Snus

Snus in the least is harmful tobacco product and it is banned, outside Sweden. Imagine if we’d like to ban French wine and allow vodka. If you look at Norway and Sweden, you’ll see the world’s best performance in smoking reducing. And they didn’t ban snus. 

Next steps

A report will be drafted by EP reporter Linda McAvan (S&D, UK) and put to an Environment Committee vote on 10-11 July.

Background

Tobacco Products Directive focuses on smokeless tobacco products, labeling and packaging, addictives and other cigarettes ingredients. Implementation of international obligations where WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

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