EC Ministers Back Smoking Plan

Article excerpt

EC health and finance experts have broadly endorsed a five-point plan to reduce smoking throughout the community.

Dr Brian Mawhinney, the UK's health minister, told Marketing this week that there was an enthusiastic response to this proposal at a symposium of representatives from health and finance ministries held in London last week. He is to report the consensus of the conference to EC health ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday (November 13). Though no formal decision will be taken, he is convinced the conferences made progress. Mawhinney proposed:

* Each EC country should set 12 quantified national targets for reducing smoking.

* A cross-Europe agreement on increasing tobacco taxation through, say, a minimum and rising prices.

* Fixing comparable indicators to compare progress a foundation to share experience on successes and failures.

* Ending huge subsidies for tobacco production -- giving a conflicting message on smoking.

* Alerting parents to the dangers of their children following their example and trying to change the attitudes of more young people. …