EU Tobacco Products Directive
Email Campaign

The European Commission published its proposed revision to the Directive in December 2012. I realise that concerns have been raised in regards to some of the changes.

Reducing the harm caused by smoking is a public health priority for the Government and, as such, the UK Government supports the prohibition on characterising flavours. The UK is a signatory to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). FCTC guidelines state that “there is no justification for permitting the use of ingredients, such as flavouring agents, which help make tobacco products more attractive.”

Flavourings can affect the initiation of smoking, for instance by making it easier to breathe in smoke to the lungs or by making smoke sweeter, milder or colder. Some studies have found sweet or “tasteful” tobacco products were more popular among children and adolescents and experimenting smokers. Reducing the uptake of smoking by children and young people is also one of the key public health goals for the Government.

However, it is worth considering that there are still perhaps as long as two years of negotiations and amendments in the European Parliament and among the 28 EU Member States in Brussels. The final adopted text may look significantly different from the Commission’s proposal.

I want to assure you that the Government will continue to seek a final text that presents a proportionate and evidence-based response to the major public health challenge of tobacco use.

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