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But Europe mired in ancient battles

| September 23, 2013

Tobacco lobbyists were preparing to wage a major battle against the imposition in Ireland of standardized tobacco packaging, according to a Times of London story quoting Health Minister James Reilly.

Reilly was said to have plans to go to cabinet next month with a proposal to impose standardized tobacco packaging and a ban on “slim-line packs.”

“The battle at the moment is to get the legislation through here but also to get the EU directive [Tobacco Products Directive TPD] through the European parliament,” Reilly was quoted as saying.

“The tobacco industry has, as we’ve seen reported recently, 161 lobbyists working for them in the European parliament to cover 700 MEPs. They are coming at us strong, but they are going to meet fierce resistance from me and from the people in government who are interested in the well-being of our children, in particular.”

There was no suggestion that the tobacco lobbyists were acting improperly.

The European Parliament is due to vote on a new commission-proposed TPD next month.

The TPD does not include a call for the imposition of standardized tobacco packaging, though some of the proposed policies would add up to a de facto standardized packaging regime.

In fact, some observers believe that the TPD, as currently proposed, would have little impact on cigarette use—taking into account licit and illicit cigarettes—while sidelining the products—snus and electronic cigarettes, for instance—that seem to have the potential to wean people from cigarette smoking, generally regarded as the most risky form of tobacco use.

Category: Breaking News

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