European Parliament votes to tighten tobacco control laws in Europe

The European Parliament (EP) voted this week(8 October 2013) to tighten tobacco regulations in Europe.

The European Parliament (EP) voted this month (8 October 2013) to tighten tobacco regulations in Europe.

The vote followed a proposal from the European Commission, known as the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which suggested a number of measures to regulate tobacco products to protect public health – specifically aiming to reduce the attractiveness of smoking for young people.

Although the EP voted to support the TPD, a number of measures in the initial proposal were significantly diluted. 

The EP agreed:

  • 65% coverage of pictorial health warnings –although 75% coverage had been proposed in the TPD
  • a ban on characterising flavours (such as menthol or banana) – but with an 8 year delay on implementation
  • a ban on slim cigarette packs ─ although they rejected a ban on slim cigarettes themselves

The EP rejected the proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes as medicinal products.

President of the ERS, Professor Peter Barnes, said: “We are pleased that the European Parliament has voted to tighten tobacco control laws, although disappointed that some measures have been diluted. We believe the vote this week is a positive step, leading to further negotiations with the Council and we hope for the legislation to be adopted before the May 2014 European elections.”

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