Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Menthol cigarettes banned by European Parliament - but E-Cigs spared
10:03am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
Health warnings covering 65% of cigarette packs are to be introduced and menthol cigarettes banned under new EU rules.
The European Parliament in Strasbourg voted on a raft of measures to help curb smoking, but stopped short of introducing plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco.
Legislators put new limits on advertising for electronic cigarettes but have so far rejected proposals for them to be regarded as medicinal products.
Wirral Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies spearheaded a campaign to keep E-cigarettes available for sale on the same basis as tobacco.
He said: "E-cigs can be a game-changer in the fight against smoking.
“Hundreds of former smokers have written to tell me that they have helped them give up cigarettes when nothing else worked.
"They are successful because they are not medicines, but products smokers enjoy using as an alternative to cigarettes.
The European Parliament decision on e-cigs was opposed by Labour MEPs but supported by Liberal Democrat, Conservative and UKIP members.
UKIP deputy leader, Wirral MEP Paul Nuttall, blasted the ban on menthol cigarettes: "Over one million people in the UK smoke menthol cigarettes.
“Banning menthol cigarettes will not stop them smoking - this measure will simply increase the black market.
“This silly idea really shows that the EU has gone menthol.
"The issue for us as a libertarian party is quite simple; the EU should not be dictating to people how they live their lives. This directive is not only patronising but harmful.
“It will cause more people to keeping on smoking and help the counterfeiting industry."
Some campaigners had called for e-cigarettes to be subjected to the same regulation as nicotine replacement therapies such as patches and gum.
The ruling on Tuesday marked the European Parliament's first reading of a draft tobacco directive which could become law in 2014.
MEPs voted to put health warnings on 65% of each cigarette pack, as opposed to the proposed 75%.
At present, warnings should cover at least 30% of the front and 40% of the back of cigarette packs, with a border surrounding them.
The ban on menthol cigarettes will come into force in 2022.
Maura Gillespie, policy programme director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "MEPs have missed an opportunity to make real inroads into curbing the number of young people taking up smoking.
"It's positive news that cigarette warnings are getting substantially bigger but MEPs could and should have gone further.”
Comments are closed on this article.