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[irishhealth.com] Plan to cut smoking rates approved. (27 Feb 2014)

External website: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=23306

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted in favour of draft legislation aimed at making tobacco products less attractive to young people.

As part of the Tobacco Products Directive, the use of menthol as an additive to alter the flavour of cigarettes will be banned from 2020. Furthermore, the warnings on the front of cigarette packs will double in size and graphic photographs will cover 65% of their surface.

E-cigarettes will also be regulated either as tobacco products, or medicinal products if they claim to help people quit smoking.

The draft legislation, which has already been informally agreed with EU health ministers, was approved by 514 votes to 66, with 58 abstentions.

According to the European Parliament, around 700,000 people die of smoking-related illnesses in the EU every year. However measures taken to discourage smoking have seen the proportion of EU citizens who smoke fall from 40% in the EU 15 in 2002 to 28% in the EU 27 in 2012.

This news has been welcomed by the Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, who insisted that the measures contained in the Directive ‘will go a long way towards protecting our young people from this killer product'.

"I am particularly pleased with the larger health warnings on both sides of the pack of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco. These warnings and other measures outlined in the Directive will complement and enhance the standardised packaging measures I am introducing for tobacco products," he said.

He added that his priority is ‘to reduce the consumption of tobacco across the board, to meet our policy target of making Ireland tobacco free (i.e. with a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5%) by 2025'.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, International
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
27 February 2014

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