European Parliament votes for negotiations to start on Tobacco Products Directive

Tuesday 08 October 2013

ASH congratulates the European Parliament for its strong support for a mandate for negotiations to proceed on a revised Tobacco Products Directive.

MEPs have approved a range of new regulations to curb smoking, including bigger warnings on cigarette packs, to regulate e-cigarettes and a ban on flavourings including menthol.

ASH is disappointed that the MEPs voted against bringing e-cigarettes under medicines regulation as this would provide the best way of ensuring that these products are safe and effective. [1]

The tobacco industry has aggressively campaigned and has failed to block the Directive. [2]


ASH Chief Executive, Deborah Arnott, said:

“We are pleased that MEPs recognised the importance of increasing the size of health warnings and that these will be placed at the top of the packs to make them more visible.

Despite unprecedented levels of lobbying by the tobacco industry to undermine the Directive it is gratifying that MEPs stood firm on many of the key measures. We now urge the Council, the Commission and the Parliament to strongly defend the Directive in ongoing negotiations.”


Notes and Links:
[1] For background on the importance of regulating e-cigarettes, see: The regulation of e-cigarettes and other nicotine products in the UK – Q&A
Link to ENVI (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) committee website:

Background Information:
70% of smokers start before the age of 18 and 94% before the age of 25 years.
Pictorial warnings of 75% or more are not just proven to be more effective in reducing the attractiveness of tobacco products to children and young people; they are also in force in several countries around the world where significant reductions in youth smoking were registered after their introduction.
Pictorial warnings covering 75% of the front and the back of the pack have NOT been legally challenged anywhere in the world.
75% of all European citizens are in favour of this measure (Eurobarometer)