The Irish Presidency of the EU says that its revised version of the European Commission’s proposed Tobacco Products Directive is ‘a balanced compromise that should be agreeable to the majority of the member states’.
The Presidency is proposing a reduction in the combined picture and text warnings for cigarettes, roll-your-own and water pipe tobacco from 75 per cent to 70 per cent on the front and back surfaces of packs.
Under the proposals, member states would decide whether or not to apply these warnings to other smoking tobacco products.
In a move that will greatly please tobacco manufacturers, the Presidency is proposing that slim cigarettes should not be banned, as they would be under the Commission’s proposals, which were made public at the end of last year.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has sought to clarify the position on flavors while keeping the thrust of the Commission’s proposal. Additives essential for the production process (e.g. sugar lost during the curing process) would not be prohibited, while those that result in a characterising flavour or increase addictiveness and toxicity would be prohibited. Tobacco products other than cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and chewing tobacco would be exempted from the flavor prohibitions.
However, under the new proposals, member states would be able to introduce stricter national measures in certain areas, such as additives or certain aspects of labelling when these were justified for public health reasons.
Discussion of the Presidency’s proposals will take place during the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council meeting on Friday.
Category: Breaking News