Eu parliament approves tougher anti-tobacco laws

Increasing the size of health warnings on cigarette packets, banning flavours and new regulation on electronic cigarettes. These are some of the measures that MEPs approved on Wednesday as part of stricter EU laws on selling and marketing tobacco products.

Aimed at making cigarettes less attractive to young people, the European Parliament backed a controversial proposal that saw the resignation of former EU health commissioner John Dalli earlier in 2012.

Dalli resigned after an anti fraud investigation by the Commission linked him to attempts to influence EU tobacco legislation.

«The key thing today is that we have got the bigger majority in Parliament to agree with 28 governments in Europe that we are gonna become world leaders again on tobacco control and I think that is a very big step forward.» said British S&D MEP Linda Mcavan.

The new legislation was already approved by EU health ministers earlier in December and will make it mandatory for all cigarette packs to carry picture warnings covering 65% of the pack.

Sales of e cigarettes will also be regulated, but it will be up to EU countries to decide where they can be sold.

The new law will also ban flavourings in cigarettes, including a phase out of menthol.

«Contrary to what some organisations, particularly linked to industry, have tried to portray, this is not a directive that prohibits smoking or prohibits e cigarretes, it just regulates them I think we have a duty to do so within an internal market.» said EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg.

EU member states will have two years to implement the new legislation.

Current laws require health warnings to cover only 30% of the front of the pack and 40% of the back.

Eu rejects ecigs, but vapers fight on

Ecigarette regulations in the EU are likely to go ahead today despite the fact the EU parliament has voted against them and a majority of MEPs are still unhappy with them.

That’s because the EU commission has cunningly bundled them with the tobacco products directive (which most MEPs want to see pass) instead of allowing a separate vote.

While some compromises have been won, from 2016 we can expect the following

  • a likely ban on refillable ecigarettes
  • ecigarettes to deliver a regulated dose of nicotine, despite the fact the technology has not yet been invented
  • a limit on the amount of nicotine in ecigarettes, despite the fact ecigs deliver less nicotine than cigarettes

Along with many other restrictions which will limit the appeal of ecigarettes and extend the dominance of large tobacco and pharmaceutical companies.

Worryingly, out of 14 applications for a medical authorisation in the UK, not one has yet been accepted.

EU Vapers Fight Back, But Need Your Help

Vapers have often complained that they have not been give a voice.

But as vaper activist David Dorn says, there should be

«Nothing About Us Without Us.»

But there is a mechanism to ensure that vapers do get heard, and it’s one that EU vapers are determined to take advantage of.

The European Citizens Intiative allows citizens to take part directly in making laws.

And a European wide vapers group, the European Free Vaping Inititiave, is gathering the signatures needed.

Now, this is not just another ecig petition if it succeeds, vapers could have a real chance of being involved in the legislative process.

There’s only one problem one million signatures are needed.

That’s not many compared to the amount of vapers in Europe, but many people are still not aware of the risks to ecigarettes or the movement to stop restrictive legistlation.

Currently, the UK is lagging behind the rest of the EU in signing the citizens initiative.

Let’s change that!

Two Ways You Can Help

There are two ways in which you can help.

1. By signing the citizens intiative here.

Two minutes of your time should be well worth the possibility of saving ecigarettes

2. By making sure as many people know about it as possible.

Share it on social media (you can also support the EFVI on Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook), and ask your friends who care about vaping to sign.

Because vaping is worth defending.

What Other Bloggers Are Saying

Cold Day in Europe TPD Has Come To Pass (Steve Vape)
Support The EVFI Now, Please (Vaping Point)
The Battle Is Lost But The War Is Not Over (Vapingiraffe)

Also See

7 Huge Consequences of An EU Ecig Ban


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