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European Commission - Statement

Changes for tobacco products sold in the EU: Statement by Commissioner Andriukaitis

Brussels, 20 May 2016

"From today, all EU countries must comply with the Tobacco Products Directive, whose measures for tobacco productson the EU internal market aim to reduce the numbers of tobacco users with a particular focus on discouraging young people from taking up smoking and to ensure that citizens across the EU are fully aware of the harmful effects of tobacco use. I congratulate the countries that have already transposed the Directive into national law, and encourage an effective enforcement of the new rules in all Member States without delay. I am confident this will happen, and that the anti-tobacco momentum which has emerged in the EU in recent years – as evidenced by falling smoking rates and the introduction of plain packaging in some Member States – will continue to grow. The benefits of falling smoking rates are clear: not only do people enjoy better health and wellbeing, and significantly lower rates of chronic diseases and premature death related to tobacco, there is also a substantial economic benefit. A reduction in tobacco consumption of just 2% translates into annual healthcare savings of approximately €506 million for the EU.Once the new rules are applied and enforced in all 28 EU countries they will play a vital role in amplifying and consolidating the progress made to date. This makes the new Tobacco Products Directive a true triumph and a lasting legacy for public health in the EU."


For more information - press release on the 10 key changes to tobacco products sold in the EU, see here.


Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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