Packets of 10 cigarettes to be stubbed out by 2016: Menthols could also be banned in EU crackdown on smoking – Μακάβριες φωτογραφίες θα έχουν από το 2016 τα πακέτα των τσιγάρων

cigarette packs

  • European Parliament ban menthol flavour and restrict electronic cigarettes
  • New regulations will see warning labels covering 65 per cent of packets
  • Flavoured cigarettes will be banned from 2022
  • Packs of 10 cigarettes – often bought by young smokers – will be outlawed

Packets of ten and flavoured cigarettes are set to be banned by the EU in a drive to crack down on smoking.

Member states yesterday voted to scrap them in less than three years, on the grounds they are attractive to young people taking up the habit.

But menthol-flavoured cigarettes – also popular with youngsters – would not be phased out for another eight years after lobbying by tobacco firms.

All cigarettes would have to carry larger warnings about the health risks of tobacco, covering 65 per cent of the packet by 2016, compared to around 40 per cent currently.

The draft law was passed by the European parliament yesterday after years of wrangling between politicians, the tobacco industry and health campaigners.

It will need to be voted on again later this year after further negotiations, but is expected to become law. Member states will then have 18 months to act on the ruling.

Linda McAvan, Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and spokesperson on public health said: ‘We know that it is children, not adults, who start smoking.

And despite the downward trend in most member states of adult smokers, the World Health Organisation figures show worrying upward trends in a number of our member states of young smokers.

‘We need to stop tobacco companies targeting young people with an array of gimmicky products and we need to make sure that cigarettes packs carry effective warnings. In Canada, large pictorial warnings were introduced in 2001 and youth smoking halved.’

There was anger from some politicians who wanted to bring in tougher rules for electronic cigarettes by classifying them as medicinal products, which failed to make it into the draft law yesterday.

This would have meant an advertising ban, no sales to minors and they would have to contain health warnings about nicotine.

This would have meant an advertising ban, no sales to minors and they would have to contain health warnings about nicotine.

It was seen as an attempt to crack down on their popularity with some analysts predicting they could outsell traditional cigarettes in a decade.

The Department of Health said it was ‘disappointed’ this had not been carried though, but said Britain intended to regulate them as medicinal products only – like nicotine patches and gum – despite the EU ruling.

Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies said the government’s position was ‘absurd’. He said: ‘E-cigs can be a game-changer in the fight against smoking.

Hundreds of former smokers have written to tell me that they have helped them give up cigarettes when nothing else worked… we should not do anything that makes e-cigs harder to obtain than tobacco cigarettes.’

Conservative MEP Martin Callanan said: ‘Forcing e-cigs off the shelves would have been totally crazy. These are products that have helped countless people stop smoking more harmful cigarettes.’

The new Tobacco Products Directive, voted through by 560 votes to 92, noted that smoking remains the principal preventable cause of death killing around 700,000 people every year.

It was a watering down of initial proposals which would have brought in graphic health warnings covering 75 per cent of packets and an immediate ban on menthols and slim cigarettes.

Maura Gillespie of the British Heart Foundation urged ministers to go further and bring in plain packaging. She said: ‘It’s up to the UK Government to show they’re made of stronger stuff and introduce standardised packs, stripped of attractive branding, without delay.’

Ukip’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall said the directive ‘defied logic’. He said: ‘Banning packs of ten will not stop people smoking…it will just make them buy more cigarettes and make them poorer. ‘We criticise McDonalds for supersizing but this EU directive will simply encourage tobacco manufacturers to do the same. This makes no sense.

‘Over one million people in the UK smoke menthol cigarettes. Banning menthol cigarettes will not stop them smoking, this measure will simply increase the black market. This silly idea really shows that the EU has gone menthol.’

Plain packaging cigarettes

Τα κράτη μέλη της ΕΕ ενέκριναν σήμερα νέα αντικαπνιστική νομοθεσία που περιλαμβάνει πιο εμφανείς προειδοποιήσεις για την υγεία στα πακέτα των τσιγάρων (θα καταλαμβάνουν το 65% της επιφάνειας του πακέτου) και τη θέσπιση των πρώτων κανονισμών της ΕΕ για τα ηλεκτρονικά τσιγάρα.

Η συμφωνία επιτεύχθηκε αφού κυβερνήσεις και το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο διευθέτησαν μια διένεξη σχετικά με το πόσο αυστηρά να ρυθμίσουν την ανθούσα αγορά των ηλεκτρονικών τσιγάρων, για την οποία μερικοί αναλυτές προβλέπουν πως σε 10 χρόνια θα έχει επισκιάσει την ύψους 700 δισεκ. ευρώ ετησίως αγορά των κανονικών τσιγάρων.

Βάσει της συμφωνίας, τα περισσότερα ηλεκτρονικά τσιγάρα θα πωλούνται ως καταναλωτικά προϊόντα μάλλον παρά ως ιατρικές συσκευές, οι οποίες διέπονται από αυστηρότερες κανονιστικές ρυθμίσεις, όπως ήθελαν αρχικά οι κυβερνήσεις. Ωστόσο ενώ θα επιτραπούν τα δημοφιλή ηλεκτρονικά τσιγάρα, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή θα μπορεί να επιβάλει στο μέλλον την απαγόρευσή τους σε όλη την ΕΕ αν τρία ή περισσότερα κράτη μέλη τα απαγορεύσουν για λόγους υγείας.

Από το 2016, όταν οι αλλαγές στους κανονισμούς θα τεθούν σε ισχύ, τα τσιγάρα, ο καπνός για στριφτά τσιγάρα και άλλα προϊόντα καπνού θα πρέπει να φέρουν μακάβριες φωτογραφίες και κείμενα προειδοποίησης για την υγεία που να καλύπτουν το 65% των εμπρός και πίσω επιφανειών των πακέτων.

Οι κανονισμοί περιλαμβάνουν επίσης την απαγόρευση των προϊόντων καπνού για κάπνισμα που περιέχουν γεύσεις όπως φρούτου ή βανίλιας. Τα τσιγάρα μεντόλ θα απαγορευθούν τέσσερα χρόνια αργότερα, αφού μερικές κυβερνήσεις ζήτησαν τη βραδύτερη σταδιακή απαγόρευσή τους.

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One Response

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