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Without menthol cigarettes. Part 2

November 25, 2013

What happened in Strasburg on October 8th? European Parliament has approved majority of amendments to European directive about tobacco products introduced by European Committee. The issue is about comprehensive document that regulates tobacco industry on entire EU territory. The main aim of taken decisions is further struggle with smoking.

According to the words of European Parliament deputy Linda McAvan who was the main reporter on this question the main goal of new rules is to react on the fact that "minors in increasing frequency become target group of tobacco Companies". As major part of people start smoking before attaining full age, the main goal is not so much to convince existing smokers to quit smoking as to do something so that young people wouldn't begin smoking. Hence, serious smoking control not only with restrictions but also in marketing.

One of the most important decisions is final unification of cigarette packs sizes: to 2016 across the whole EU they will contain 19-20 cigarettes, not more and not less. This ban will apply; first of all, to Britain where small packs, containing 10 cigarettes are popular (they are purchased by approximately 40 % of Britons). They are cheaper and at this expense, as ban supporters consider they are easier of access for young people.

Up to 65 percent will be increased size of inscriptions and pictures on packs that warn about smoking harm (now it is 30-40 % of their surface). Brand names will not disappear from packs in the whole but will be placed solely in their bottom part. To 2017 will be prohibited also cigarettes with any flavors - except menthol, about which ban will come into force to 2022.

Finally, electronic cigarettes, boom of which experiences Europe - especially after introduction in many countries of smoking ban in public places will be actually equaled to usual cigarettes and on them will apply stricter rules as to the advertisement, points of sales, licensing and so on.

All these decisions at first sight don't give any grounds for treating them as victory of tobacco lobby. However, details are important.


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