Wednesday, 22 August 2012

No more logos on cigarette packs in the EU?

It is unlikely that anyone would consider smoking a healthy habit. It still may be seen as a sign of 'being cool', but the times had changed and the Mad Men-era where success was celebrated with a cigarette in one hand is long gone. In more and more Member States a ban has been introduced on smoking in public places. Still, more means on deterring Europeans from smoking are being considered - some of them could further restrict advertising and packaging rules of tobacco products.

The European institutions consider introducing a ban on logos on cigarette packs, for example, within its review of 2001 Tobacco Products Directive, which is to be published in the fall. A spokesman for the European Commission, Antonio Gravili, said during a news briefing that introduction of European rules on plain packaging of tobacco products is being considered. (EU considering cigarette logo ban to deter smoking) Such a ban is already in force in Australia, and as of December all cigarettes sold there will have to be wrapped in plain, olive packaging. This governmental ban was questioned by British American Tobacco, Philip Morris and other tobacco companies but the Australia's High Court upheld the ban. Tobacco companies claim that such a ban infringes their intellectual property rights and boosts sales of fake or illegally imported cigarettes. (WHO welcomes landmark decision from Australia's High Court on tobacco plain packaging act and Australia's plain packaging wins against global tobacco firms)

Other options that are being discussed in the Commission are: printing larger graphic images on cigarette packs of the diseases linked to smoking (though how much larger can it get, really?), covering electronic cigarettes with the Directive.

This all comes among the World Health Organisation's prediction that smoking could kill 8 million people every year by 2030. (WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic - executive summary) Another survey showed that Europe has the world's highest rate of smokers aged 13-15. (Exposure of children to environmental tobacco smoke and Global Youth Tobacco Survey)

No comments:

Post a comment