New Tobacco Measures from 2016
The EU has finally published the Tobacco Products Directive
After being formally adopted last March by the Council of the European Union, the executive institution at EU level, the Tobacco Products Directive has finally been published and will enter into force in May. It grants Member States a two-year transposition period to implement the provisions contained in the directive in their respective countries.
Given that 70% of the smokers start smoking before the age of 18 and 94% before the age of 25 years, the new Directive targets a 2% reduction of initiation of tobacco consumption at a young age over the next five years.
Tobacco remains the main cause of preventable deaths and diseases, causing 700,000 deaths every year in the European Union (click here for more information on tobacco’s consequences).
The new Directive introduces new provisions regarding health information and warnings, packaging, labelling, information on additives and manufacturing, and control of tobacco products. For example, in order to limit the purchase capacity of tobacco products by the youth, small cigarette packs will be banned. From 2016, cigarette packs will be sold in a cuboid shape and contain at least 20 cigarettes, while roll-your-own tobacco packages will contain at least 30g of tobacco.
Another novelty is that no flavorings will be allowed in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products. The European Union aims at discouraging young people to start using tobacco attracked by a nicer taste or smell.
A further analysis of the Directive can be found here.
After having being delayed for long-time, the legislative process of the tobacco products directive, which started in December 2012, finally came to an end. By having adopted this fundamental piece of legislation before the European elections, the European Union made a meaningful difference by protecting more of Europe’s children from taking up the deadly habit of smoking.
EFA has advocated (1) (2) (3) (4) throughout the legislative process of this Tobacco Products Directive for the promotion of public health in Europe and the enhancement of rights of patients with asthma, allergy and COPD. We will now follow-up and encourage strict implementation, in collaboration with our members and partners. The long-term objective, as reiterated several times by WHO, should be to create a future free of tobacco-caused deaths and diseases.