Europe proposes new tobacco rules

news: Europe proposes new tobacco rules

The European Commission has proposed a revision of its current directive on rules governing the packaging and sale of tobacco, in order to make the addiction less attractive, especially for young people.

Proposed rules include having larger health warnings on cigarette and smokeless tobacco product packaging, and a total ban on strong flavourings, in a move that could force tobacco companies to rethink how they make and market their products within the 27-member bloc.

The rules will require qualified majority approval by both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, and if that happens, new legislation is expected to be adopted in 2014 and to take effect in 2015 at the earliest.

The proposal is being heavily criticised by the tobacco industry, already struggling with falling cigarette sales, amid increased warnings of lung cancer and other negative health effects.

In an early reaction to the proposal, British American Tobacco Group PLC, the world’s second-largest listed tobacco group by revenue after Philip Morris, said the directive is “not proportionate” and potentially breaches European law.