EP ENVI Committee adopts TPD report
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
Brussels - ENVI Committee adopts pictorial health warnings covering 75% of tobacco packets; full ban on characterising flavours; ban on slim cigarettes; strengthens the control of the supply chain to help prevent illicit tobacco trade; upholds the Member States’ right to adopt stronger national measures.
The Smoke Free Partnership (SFP) welcomes the resolve of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee’s in placing the public interest firmly above the narrow interests of the tobacco industry and its allies.
SFP Director Florence Berteletti said: “We applaud the measures adopted today. They will ensure that the package and the taste of tobacco products tell the truth about these deadly products.
Despite an aggressive, shameless campaign by hundreds of tobacco lobbyists who spread myths and misinformation for months, the ENVI Rapporteur Linda McAvan, the shadow rapporteurs and ultimately the large majority of the ENVI Committee decided to stand up to tobacco interests and put public health first. We urge all Members of the European Parliament to show the same resolve at the Plenary vote in September”.
Following months of negotiations and despite tobacco industry-friendly results in four out of the five opinion-giving Committees, members of the ENVI Committee upheld the need to protect public health by adopting key measures to help prevent disease and deaths caused by tobacco:
- By adopting large mandatory pictorial warnings covering 75% of the front and the back of cigarette packs, roll-your-own and waterpipe tobacco, and by maintaining the ban on slim cigarettes and their attractive “lipstick packs”, MEPs reasserted that the primary goal of this key legislation is to protect children from getting hooked onto a deadly and addictive product. MEPs asserted that children should not be lured by shiny, colourful tobacco packets and pretty cigarettes.
- By adopting a ban on characterising flavours and restrictions on additives, MEPs have confirmed that tobacco should taste like tobacco, and not like menthol, fruit, or various spices. The taste of tobacco will no longer deceive young people across Europe into entering a lifelong addiction.
- By reinforcing the anti-illicit trade provisions of the draft Directive, MEPs recognised the importance of tracking and tracing measures to help control the legal supply chain and prevent smuggling, and of security features to help customs authorities better recognise and control the influx of counterfeit products into the EU.
The European Parliament Plenary is expected to vote on the report during its session between 9 and 12 September, opening the way for negotiations with the EU Council on a compromise. The Smoke Free Partnership calls on all parties to work towards a successful conclusion of the negotiations and to adopt the Directive before the end of the European Parliament’s current mandate in May 2014.
The Smoke Free Partnership is a strategic, independent and flexible partnership between the European Respiratory Society (www.ersnet.org), Cancer Research UK (www.cancerresearchuk.org), the European Heart Network (www.ehnheart.org), Action on Smoking and Health (UK) (www.ash.org.uk) and the Irish Cancer Society (www.cancer.ie). We aim to promote tobacco control advocacy and policy research at EU and national levels in collaboration with other EU health organisations and EU tobacco control networks.