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Brussels, 26 February 2014
Statement by Commissioner Borg following the vote in Parliament on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive
"I welcome the Parliament's positive vote on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. I would like to thank and congratulate all Members of the European Parliament in particular the rapporteur, Linda McAvan, and the shadow Rapporteurs, for their commitment and hard work.
Today’s endorsement marks one of the final steps before the entry into force of the new rules governing tobacco and related products in the EU.
The Parliament’s seal of approval is all the more significant considering the devastating effect tobacco has on the health of EU citizens – 700 000 premature deaths every year, 14 fewer years of life on average for smokers, more years spent in poor health.
By ensuring that tobacco products look and taste like tobacco products, the new rules will help to reduce the number of people who start smoking in the EU.
Central to this are the large mandatory picture and text warnings to be placed on both sides of the pack of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, and the prohibition of characterising flavours. Together with the prohibition of 'lipstick-style' packs and of misleading elements on the packs, these measures put an end to products which entice children and teenagers into starting to smoke in the European Union.
I am particularly pleased the Parliament fully endorsed new rules on electronic cigarettes which introduce robust safety and quality standards to protect consumers.
Today is a great day for EU health policy. The Parliament’s formal endorsement of the Tobacco Products Directive is a testament to the political will to put the health of our citizens first.”
The European Parliament today formally approved the revision of the Directive governing the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products in the EU. The Directive harmonises the rules for tobacco and related products sold on the internal market.
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