MEP Anderson calls for maximum action in Tobacco products directive
Speaking in the European Parliament today in the debate on the Commission’s proposed Tobacco Directive, Sinn Féin MEP, Martina Anderson said:
“While the Commission’s proposal was fairly ambitious and this opinion by the Rapporteur is even more robust, I believe that we can still go further with this directive.
“We should be aiming higher than 75% coverage of the front and back surface of a cigarette pack with combined health warnings. After all, this will be the maximum measures that member states can impose. We should be more motivated in our determination to tackle the proliferation of this death product.,
“Moving in the direction of fully standardised packaging as recommended by the World Health Organisation's guidelines, recommending covering the whole of the pack, is the right one.
“The tobacco industry’s marketing strategy which is to attract new users of its products, i.e. young impressionable people, must be restricted in the most stringent of terms.
“I would also like to see amendments to include a ban on point-of-sale displays, a policy introduced by the Irish government in 2009 and which has already started to show results in de-normalising smoking among young people.
“Neither is there any justification for permitting the use of ingredients which alters the taste or smell of tobacco products to make them more attractive or palatable. Therefore I would like to see an outright ban on the use of such additives.
“There should be a clear list of additives which are absolutely essential for the production process but additives that contribute to toxicity or addictiveness should not be permitted in any quantity“Smoking cessation at any time of life will bring substantial health benefits and although this piece of legislation is seeking to focus on young people, it would be inappropriate to ignore the issue of older smokers. For this reason, I would like to see labelling regulations extended to cigars, cigarillos and pipes.”