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European Parliament has obliged manufacturers of cigarettes to place on cigarette packs images about smoking consequences

May 5, 2014

European Parliament has voted introduction of stricter measures for smoking control. Now cigarette manufacturers will have to warn consumers about dangers that this habit has not only with the help of text but also visual images.

Such pictures are already printed in cigarette packs in some countries. But now they will become larger and will be obligatory for use in all 28 countries-members beginning with 2016.

Warnings about smoking harm will take 65% of front and back sides of the pack and also 50% of flanks. Traditional text warnings are also kept, like "smoking kills - quit right now". For today they cover only from 30 to 40% of the pack.

Law also foresees toughening the regulation of the market of electronic cigarettes, requirements to advertisement and fully prohibits most of flavored tobacco products. Experts maintain that flavoring agents with chocolate or vanilla scent, for example, hide tobacco taste and in such a way, habituate youth to smoking.

Cigarettes with menthol got delay and will be present on the market till 2020. Then, according to the decision will be also prohibited.

Politicians and those who support healthy lifestyle have accepted these changes with inspiration, considering the important step that will help reducing number of smokers in Europe. Representatives of tobacco industry, on the contrary, condemn them and consider these measures burdensome for the industry that pays huge taxes as it is. Law needs also to receive approval of governments of European Union countries in March. It is expected that they most likely will adopt it.

Ban on smoking in public places, restrictions for advertisement and other measures taken for the last 10 years have reduce number of smokers in Europe from about 40 to 28% of 50 million-population of European Union.

European Union Health Commissioner Tonio Borg has declared that adoption of this law is "the proof of political will that makes citizens' health the cornerstone".

Philip Morris International that owns several famous tobacco brands, such as Marlboro, considers that the law will make EU economy less competitive and will further the growth of cigarettes sale on black market. "It will be a stroke for hundreds thousand of people that work in legal business and also for authorities of countries-members of EU that now will have to fill the holes in the budget" - says Drago Azinovic, the head of European division of the Company.


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