Magazine article European Social Policy

Tobacco Directive : Agri Red Card to Proposed Ban on Menthol and Slim Cigarettes

Magazine article European Social Policy

Tobacco Directive : Agri Red Card to Proposed Ban on Menthol and Slim Cigarettes

Article excerpt

The European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture (AGRI) rejected, on 19 June, the European Commission's plan to make menthol and slim cigarettes illegal in the European Union but spoke in favour of a ban on the cross-border and internet sales of tobacco products. In a non-binding opinion adopted with 36 votes in favour, four against and two abstentions, MEPs argued that the new rules must not lead to the decline of the tobacco growing sector in the European Union as there is no direct link between tobacco cultivation and the number of smokers. "The new measures must considerably and genuinely decrease tobacco consumption and prevent youngsters from taking up smoking. But at the same time, they must not lead to the decline of the European tobacco growing sector through, for instance, replacement of European tobacco by cheaper and uncontrolled tobacco from third countries and increased illegal trafficking of tobacco products along the EU's external borders," said rapporteur Csaba Sandor Tabajdi (S&D, Hungary).

The non-binding opinion is part of the ongoing consultation process within the European Parliament of the Commission's proposal for a directive on tobacco products put forward in December 2012. The so-called tobacco package is subject to co-decision between Parliament, Commission and Council.

The AGRI committee argued that health warnings should cover 50% of the surface of both sides of packs rather than 75% as proposed by the EU executive. …

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