Tobacco giants fear ‘sleepwalking’ into tougher curbs on cigarettes — telegraph

Japan Tobacco International (JTI), owner of Silk Cut and Benson & Hedges, has calculated that more than 50pc of cigarette pack sales in the UK will be hit by the proposed legislation, aimed at reducing the 700,000 deaths across the EU each year from tobacco related illnesses.

Paul Williams, head of corporate affairs at JTI UK, has warned that Britain risks «sleepwalking» into a situation where Europe will impose legislation «even more severe» than the Government s plans for plain packaging, which were abandoned last month.

The industry claimed there was no evidence to prove plain packs would reduce smoking and would potentially create more black market business.

New rules on cigarette sales a revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) will be debated by the European Parliament on September 10 and could begin as early as 2016 if agreement can be reached with the European Council.

European legislators propose to outlaw the sale of cigarettes in packs of 10, which account for 38pc of packs sold in the UK, says JTI. Menthol and «slim» cigarettes would also be banned, while leaf tobacco would only be available in larger packs of at least 40 grammes. Currently, 92.2pc of leaf tobacco sold in the UK is in smaller packs of 25g and 12.5g. E cigarettes would also be subject to stricter rules.

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The tobacco giants argue the legislation will simply push more smokers to buy from the black market, which already accounts for more than a fifth of all of the cigarettes smoked in this country.

The directive could also potentially cost the Treasury f800m in lost revenue.

«There s an enormous risk,» said Ronan Barry, EU regulatory affairs manager at British American Tobacco. «Just take menthol, if almost a million smokers in the UK wake up one morning and they can no longer buy their preferred product in the shop, there s a massive opportunity there created for criminals and illegal traders to step in and meet the demand that the legal market can no longer supply.»

A spokesman for Philip Morris International, owner of the Marlboro brand, said the directive «explicitly prohibits products that account for approximately 10pc of the EU cigarette market, despite the fact that there is no credible scientific evidence that these products are more harmful than others, or that taking them off the market will reduce smoking rates».

Europe — e-cigarettes to be banned in 3 years’ time if committee’s opinion is heeded. — ecf infozone

As many ECFers know, the European Union is shortly to issue a new directive on the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. This document is a reworking of Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) which, amongst other things, prevented Snus from being sold across the EU, costing many lives in the process.

Tobacco Control is a thorny issue generally partly because of the vested forces that end up maneuvering it towards their own interests, and partly because of unintended consequences, and partly due to the inexactness of the science that forms policy. The Snus example is a classic one commissioners believed they were acting strongly to prevent unscrupulous suppliers hooking new users. In fact, they ended up preventing a reduced harm product from saving many existing smokers’ lives.

Why does this happen? In my opinion, it’s due to ignorance. Take for example, the Committee Hearing of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on February 25th this year (you can watch it here). Almost everyone involved was misinformed, and some were downright ideological concerning every aspect of electronic cigarette, including contents, the effect of nicotine, and smokers’ reasons for using them.

Indeed, this last point has been explicitly referenced in the explanatory preamble in the draft opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, where it is stated that «Consumers indicate as well, that they mainly use e cigarettes to quit smoking, what suggests that e cigarettes are perceived as a medicinal product.» a ludicrous and misleading sentence if ever there was one.

What is ‘to quit smoking’ in this context? It’s clearly «smoke smoking», or the inhalation of smoke produced by burning tobacco compounds. Someone who has exclusively taken up vaping is no longer smoking, but has not «quit smoking» in the way commonly understood ie, to be free of nicotine. There is no evidence whatsoever that e cigarettes are perceived as medicinal products by those that use them, or that anything other than a small minority use them to quit smoking and to quit nicotine this in a totally mendacious invention by whoever is drafting this proposal.

Anyway, enough of that let’s see what the relevant sections of the directive would look like if these proposals are accepted (dowload a PDF of the Draft Proposal as amended by Committee on the Internal Market)

Proposal for a

DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products

Articles 18 and 26 as amended by

DRAFT OPINION

of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

(COM(2012)0788 C7 0420/2013 2012/0366(COD)) 27.3.2013

TITLE III NON TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Article 18

Nicotine containing products

1. Nicotine containing products may only be placed on the market if they were authorized pursuant to Directive 2001/83/EC

1a. Member States shall ensure that nicotine containing products are not sold to persons below the age required for purchasing tobacco products.

Article 26

Transitional provision

Member States may allow the following products, which are not in compliance with this Directive, to be placed on the market until Publications Office, please insert the exact date entry into force 36 months

(a) tobacco products

(b) nicotine containing products

(c) herbal products for smoking.

So, the proposal is that all electronic cigarettes are banned 3 years after the publication date of the directive. This is a big departure from the previous draft in theory, but not in fact the previous draft would have allowed e cigs on the market, but with nicotine levels too low to be of any use for the vast majority of vapers. In fact, this draft is good, in a sense, because an extra year has been given for them to remain on the market.

The net effect is the same at some point in the near future, the only suppliers able to sell electronic cigarettes are those that are able to get market authorization to sell them as medicinal products, a costly and protracted process that will cause most suppliers to go out of business.

If you’re outside the EU, and don’t think this matters to you, think again this will be the pattern everywhere. This proposed directive is great for Big Pharma, probably great for Big Tobacco, and terrible for consumers.

Hat Tip Old Chemist in ECF thread.

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