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New EU Tobacco Directive will discourage people from starting to smoke

Last Update 06/04/2021

MEPs and national governments agreed to a revision of the European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)


MEPs and national governments agreed on Monday 16th December to a revision of the European Union Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). However, e-cigarettes continue to divide policy-makers.

This agreement – pending the vote in European Parliament and formal adoption by the Council – means a new Directive will ensure that tobacco products look and taste like tobacco products and help discourage young people from starting to smoke.

The main points of the revised directive include combined picture and text health warnings which will cover 65% of the front and back packaging of tobacco products, a ban on flavoured cigarettes and more detailed reporting on tobacco products’ ingredients.

E-cigarettes will continue to be available on the market and not be restricted to pharmacies. But EU ministers have not resolved the issue of the refilling devices, which they continue discussing in the coming days.

“While the proposed tobacco products legislation could and should have been much more ambitious, we recognise the limits of European policy making and commend those MEPs, ministers and European Commission officials who have worked hard in the face of massive resistance to protect the health of European citizens,” said Professor Jean-Paul Sculier of the European Respiratory Society.

The European Respiratory Society now urges the Environment and Health Committee and subsequently the entire European Parliament to endorse without delay the agreement reached this week between the institutions.

European Respiratory Society Statement:

Negotiators at the European Parliament, Council and Commission agreed on 16 December on a preliminary text of a first reading agreement for a revised EU tobacco directive. The agreement reached has now been signed off by the Council of Ministers today 18th of December. It is aimed at making tobacco products less attractive particularly to children by strengthening the rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented and sold. [1]

After many years of preparations and intense debate at Council and Parliament the European Respiratory Society welcomes the long awaited outcome.

Commenting on the conclusion of negotiations, Chair of the ERS Advocacy Committee and Secretary for European Affairs, Prof. Jean-Paul Sculier stated that:

“While the proposed tobacco products legislation could and should have been much more ambitious, we recognise the limits of European policy making and commend those MEPs, Ministers and European Commission officials who have worked hard in the face of massive resistance to protect the health of European citizens

For me the key of the new directive and the single most effective measure is that there will be an obligation for combined picture and text health warnings to cover
65% of the front and the back of packages of tobacco products for smoking.”

The European Respiratory Society now urges the Environment and Health Committee and subsequently the entire European Parliament to endorse without delay the agreement reached this week between the institutions.

 

Read the statements from the European Commision, the European Respiratory Society (ERS). and the Lithuanian Presidency.

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