Important improvement but exaggerated ideas have not been included

"The proposal for a tobacco product directive presented by Commissioner Tonio Borg today is balanced. It foresees important improvement for health but exaggerated ideas have not been included", said Peter Liese and Richard Seeber, the co-coordinators of the EPP Group for environment and health. "Commissioner Tonio Borg has kept his word. He tabled the new draft directive even sooner than announced in the hearing. This is important for the credibility of the EU Institutions and also important because it enables us to have a comprehensive debate and a full procedure including a vote in plenary before the European election".


Liese and Seeber welcomed that the Commission proposes bigger pictorial warnings: "Research has shown that smokers stopped noticing the written warnings on cigarette packages; shock pictures on the one hand will get attention. This is important, especially to stop younger people from starting smoking. On the other hand we are happy that plain packaging which would abolish the trade marks of the tobacco labelling has not been included in the proposal. This would have created too many legal problems. We also welcome that an over-the-counter display ban has not been included in the proposal".

The two EPP co-coordinators also welcomed that the Commission also proposed a ban on characterizing flavors in cigarettes. Flavorings making tobacco less aggressive seduce young people to start smoking. Flavored tobacco is also just as dangerous as non-treated tobacco. Liese and Seeber: "We will take care that a comprehensive debate will take place. The European Parliament's Environment and Health Committee will hold a public hearing on February 25th providing a platform for discussion of all stakeholders. The imperative of protecting health must be balanced with the principal of subsidiarity and the market economy".

For further information:
Peter Liese MEP, Tel. +32 228 447981
Richard Seeber MEP, Tel. +32 228 47468
EPP Press and Communication Service, Lasse Böhm, Mobil +32 484 656 897

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