Anti-smoking regulations get tougher in the EU

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Tough new rules will be introduced soon in a bid to reduce the number of smokers in Europe.

The European Parliament has voted for new anti-smoking rules which include a total ban on packets of ten cigarettes to be implemented in the UK from 2016. Also banned are the "lipstick-style" packs aimed at women. Indeed, all packets must be of minimum 20 cigarettes, so to be large enough to host the warning messages, which are also affected by the new regulation.

The new European legislation in fact will impose on the tobacco companies to uniform their packaging with the use of larger warning labels and highly graphic pictures of smoking-related diseases.

More in detail: picture warnings must cover 65% of the front and back of every packet of cigarettes, with additional warnings on the top of the pack. Similar warnings and graphic pictures will be required for roll-your-own tobacco packs.

Additionally, the new rules impose a ban on menthol flavoured cigarettes and other varieties like fruit and vanilla.

Also for what concerns e-cigarettes, tougher regulation of e-cigarettes are going to be introduced, indicating a maximum nicotine-concentration level.

The legislation has been created to try and reduce the number of smokers by 2.4 million in the 28 nations of the European Union. Now that it has been approved by the European Parliament, the new law needs the approval of each EU government. Ministers will have to endorse the new regulation in March, to come into force in May 2014. Then, each government is expected to introduce the legislation in their country from 2016.

According to Tonio Borg, EU Health Commissioner, the measures introduced will “put an end to products which entice children and teenagers into starting to smoke in the European Union."

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