Although the revision of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) has the potential to save lives, the process that has been followed to date has been a tragedy of errors and the TPD is on course to do more harm than good, according to a piece by Jeff Stier and Dr. Karine Caunes published in Europolitics.
Stier is a senior fellow at the NationalCenter for Public Policy Research in WashingtonDC, and heads its Risk Analysis Division. Caunes is a scholar in residence at the ColumbiaEuropeanLegalStudiesCenter and is the associate editor of the European Journal of International Law.
Proposed revisions to the TPD were published by the European Commission on December 19, and they will now go before the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, the institutions responsible for adopting binding legislation.
‘The TPD continues the EU-wide ban on snus, the least harmful form of tobacco,’ said Stier and Caunes. ‘As a result, European smokers outside of Sweden are denied the dramatically lower and well-documented tobacco-related disease rates for Swedes, where snus is popular.
‘As usual, bad policy is often preceded by flawed process. It isn’t just “Dalli gate”*. That case was just a symptom of the broader lack of transparency and betrayal of regulatory procedures meant to ensure sensible policy making that benefits citizens. [*John Dalli resigned in October as European Health Commissioner after allegations linked him to a businessman who allegedly approached Swedish Match and offered to meet with Dalli regarding the EU's policy on snus in exchange for €60 million.]
‘Central elements of the consultation process have been disregarded in a rush to produce a directive that blindly punishes tobacco users, rather than achieves the more nuanced goal of improving health…’
Stier and Caunes piece is at: http://www.europolitics.info/social/snus-saga-an-unfortunate-illustration-of-the-tpd-proposal-fiasco-art346769-26.html
Category: Breaking News