New EU directive ‘just a first step’

| December 19, 2013

The compromise EU tobacco products directive negotiated by the Lithuanian presidency and the European Parliament on Monday, and endorsed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives on Wednesday, is ‘just a first step’, according to the Lithuanian Minister of Health, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis.

The compromise directive has still to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.

A press note issued by the Lithuanian presidency yesterday said that the EU had initiated the review of the directive having considered ‘the pressing need to reduce smoking among youth, decrease the number of smoking-related diseases, tackle the illegal trade, regulate marketing and advertising of tobacco products to discourage the public from smoking’.

“Agreement on [the] tobacco directive is a big step towards a healthier and more prosperous society,” the health minister was quoted as saying.

“It is just a first, but crucial step in protecting the public health and in harmonizing the market of tobacco products at the Union level.

“From the pragmatic point of view it is significant to all stakeholders of the EU internal market, as it establishes clearer rules for manufacturers, retailers and consumers.”

The minister was said to have added that an even more rigorous regulation of the tobacco market would ‘need to be continued in the future, based on the new research and lessons learned’.

So the new directive was just a starting point in implementation of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Category: Breaking News

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