Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tories Play Into Hands Of Big Tobacco On EU Cigarette Rules

MEPs today voted on new rules to reduce the uptake of smoking amongst young people, including larger health warnings on cigarette packets, restrictions on "lipstick-style" packaging and a ban on flavourings including menthols. The new EU rules will also ensure that electronic cigarettes can be sold as freely as their tobacco alternatives, following a campaign by Liberal Democrat MEPs, although some restrictions including on nicotine content remain.

Conservative and UKIP MEPs voted against the new rules saying they were too restrictive.

Andrew Duff MEP commented:
"It's shocking, but perhaps not altogether surprising, that the Tories and UKIP have voted against new rules that that will help prevent young people from taking up smoking. 
"From the beginning they have been seeking to delay this legislation and have played into the hands of big tobacco."
Commenting on the outcome of the legislation on electronic cigarettes, Andrew Duff said:
"Tobacco control measures and e-cigarettes are two sides of the same coin - they exist to reduce smoking. That is why Liberal Democrats have worked hard to prevent overly restrictive regulation of e-cigarettes that could reduce their availability and usefulness for ex-smokers. 
"Unfortunately the outcome isn't everything that e-cig users wanted, but it's a tremendous improvement compared to the original proposals. E-cigs won't come under medicinal regulation and the nicotine limit is five times higher than was originally proposed."