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Revision of the Tobacco Products Directive : false claims made by the tobacco industry

Cancer Research UK has produced a briefing note rebusting some of the false claims made by thetobacco industry about the ’Tobacco Product Directive’. The Tobacco Product Directive is beingrevised by the EU since September 2010, with intensive lobbying from the tobacco industry to preventits strengthening.

The Cancer Research UK briefing provides an outline of the key issues related to the Tobacco Products Directive and addressessome of the false claims (myths) that are being made by the tobacco industry.

Lobbying from the tobacco industry is so intense that representatives from the tobacco indutry even threatened to launch legal actionshould the European Commission proposes plain packaging.

Trying to limit, as much as possible, the possible outcomes of the Directive’s revision, the tobacco industry is using a series of arguments to convince policy makers such as

” Smuggling will rise with plain packaging”,

“It will be more difficult for retailers to differentiate products”,

“This is against property law”,

“They want to ban burley tobacco”,

“There is no evidence that flavours make tobacco products more attractive” etc.

However, several of them are not substantiated, as demonstrated by Cancer Research UK – an EPHA member.

For all stakeholders interested in public health, the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive represents one of 2011-12biggest challenge. If the European Commission goes for plain packaging, if tobacco flavours are banned, this could have a greatimpact on people’s health but also a considerable impact on the tobacco industry. And the more than 85 000 responsesreceived by the European Commission during the consultation process demonstrate clearly there is a lot at stake.

According to Cancer Research UK, a stronger Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) requires, in particular, larger warnings (includingpictures) on both sides of the packet, plain packaging and regulation of flavourings and additives, is needed to protect children andyoung people from the marketing of this highly addictive and seriously harmful product.

NB : Tobacco causes 650,000 deaths each year in Europe.

For further information

European Commission launches public consultation on revision of Tobacco Products Directive 2001/13/EC

EPHA responds to European Commission Consultation on possible revision of Tobacco Products Directive 2011/37/EC

SFP/ENSP Recommendations for the Tobacco Products Directive review

WHO publishes its 2011 Report on tobacco

The Tobacco Products Directive : Myth Busting

Last modified on novembre 15 2011.

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