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European Parliament has let electronic cigarettes be
October 14, 2013
European Parliament has approved suggestions of European Commission for smoking control in a much lighted form, but initiative about equaling electronic cigarettes to medicines was rejected at all.
Euro-deputies agreed to prohibit cigarettes with menthol and other flavored additions that mask tobacco bitterness but they have delayed implementation of this measure to 2022.
Slims cigarettes, that many women mistakenly consider less harmful (as it was marked in European Commission) have avoided ban.
European Commission offered to increase size of warning inscriptions about smoking harm up to 75 % of package surface but deputies considered that 65 % will be enough (norms in force - 30 % on one side of pack and 40 % on another).
Functionaries of European Commission even before voting have told that tobacco Companies have launched major lobbying in order to lighten proposed offers.
Decision of European Parliament will require now negotiations with EU Council in which sit representatives of governments of EU countries-members. However, probability of directive coming into force before new elections in European Parliament appointed on May of the next year remains.
Electronic cigarettes repeat smokers' behavior without tobacco consumption. They transform nicotine and other chemical tobacco components into steam.
Manufacturers of these devices insist that they are safe and their spreading shouldn't limit.
However, anti-nicotine activists consider that electronic cigarettes undermine their many years' efforts, increasing smoking attractiveness, in particular, among children.
In Great Britain have been already adopted laws that will equate electronic cigarettes to medicines beginning with 2016.
There will not be light cigarettes anymore.
European Parliament has agreed to the idea to prohibit using in names of tobacco products such terms as "lights", "soft" and "with law tar content", - basing on the fact that they misinform consumers.
"Tobacco products should look and be felt on taste as tobacco products", - European Commissioner for Health Tonio Borg who has presented these provisions has underlined.
Chewing tobacco also known as snus was decided to prohibit in whole - however, for Sweden, where it is the most popular, European Parliament made exclusion.
Together with increasing warning inscriptions European Commission has also offered to prohibit selling cigarettes in packs less than for 20 units, on which these inscriptions are not so obvious. Big packs, in addition, cost more what could become additional constraining factor for especially vulnerable low-income smokers.
Such requirement already acts on national level in 14 EU countries and in minimum four countries - 19 cigarettes, but in Great Britain and Italy is allowed to sell packs of 10 cigarettes.
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