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European Parliament leaves lasting health legacy by voting in favour Tobacco Products Directive

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Strasbourg. The Smoke Free Partnership today welcomes the European Parliament’s vote in support of the Tobacco Products Directive.

BRUSSELS, 26 February 2014

The Smoke Free Partnership today welcomes the European Parliament’s vote in support of the Tobacco Products Directive. The European Parliament plenary session vote ushers in tough new measures on tobacco that go further than ever before to safeguard the health of Europeans.

The Directive sets minimum standards that Europe’s member countries must meet on tobacco control, in particular:

  • Mandatory pictorial health warnings covering 65% of both sides at the top of each cigarette pack.
  • Countries who wish to do so may go further by introducing standard packs
  • Ban on characterising flavours
  • Strong tracking and tracing provisions for tobacco products across the entire supply chain
  • Appropriate regulation for nicotine-containing products

Following formal adoption by the Council, EU governments will have two years to apply the above measures into national law. Separately, counties have an extended deadline of six years to phase out menthol flavouring.

Archie Turnbull, President of the Smoke Free Partnership, commented ‘Today marks a genuine turning point for European tobacco control – and a huge stride towards a tobacco free Europe. The European Parliament’s vote in favour of the Tobacco Products Directive will help protect young people and children across Europe, saving many lives and helping prevent young Europeans from starting to smoke. Furthermore, it sends a clear signal that Europe takes seriously its obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

Susanne Logstrup, Director of the European Heart Network and Board Member of the Smoke Free Partnership, added ‘We encourage EU governments to go even further than the minimum requirements laid down in the Directive and commend the example set by the UK and Ireland by considering standard packaging for cigarettes.’

The Smoke Free Partnership congratulates, in particular, the tobacco unit of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commissioner Borg, former Commissioner Dalli, the Irish and Lithuanian Health Ministers and their teams and MEPs Linda McAvan, Karl Heinz Florenz, Carl Schlyter and Martina Anderson who worked hard to deliver a strong Tobacco Products Directive before the end of this parliamentary term despite repeated delays and attempted obstructions from the tobacco industry throughout the legislative process.

According to the World Health Organisation, 16% of all adult deaths in Europe are due to tobacco. Tobacco-related diseases, including many cancers, heart and respiratory diseases, affect some 13 million people worldwide.

Notes to editors

The Smoke Free Partnership is a strategic, independent and flexible partnership between Cancer Research UK , the European Heart Network and Action on Smoking and Health (UK). It aims to promote tobacco control advocacy and policy research at EU and national levels in collaboration with other EU health organisations and EU tobacco control networks.

For more information, evidence and data, please visit the Smoke Free Partnership website.

Media enquires

For further comment or interview, please contact Florence Berteletti, Smoke Free Partnership Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +32 (0) 496 124 302.

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The Smoke Free Partnership receives operating funding from the European Commission. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the official views of the EU institutions.

The Smoke Free Partnership receives project funding from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease under the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
E-mail: info@smokefreepartnership.eu
Phone: +32 (0) 2 430 73 59
Address: Rue de l'Industrie 24, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

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