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Sinn Féin MEP To Oversee EU Smoking Legislation – Northern Ireland News

Northern Ireland News

08 February 2013

Sinn Féin MEP To Oversee EU Smoking Legislation
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has been appointed to oversee new legislation on tackling smoking in the European Parliament.

Ms Anderson will now track and amend the Tobacco Products Directive as it passes through the legislative process.

Speaking following her appointment Martina Anderson said: “This is a major piece of legislation which will impact greatly on how we tackle smoking related illnesses throughout Europe. I look forward to taking an active role in shaping this legislation to prioritise public health over an industry which results in a shocking 700,000 deaths in Europe annually. I will do my utmost to make an ambitious proposal even more so.

“As MEPs, we have a responsibility to prioritise the health of our citizens over the profits of an industry which manufactures deadly consumer products. 2300 people die in the North of Ireland alone each year from smoking-related diseases. We must do more to eradicate this figure.”

But she added: “The various controversies surrounding the numerous delays in bringing these proposals forward and the reported potential corruption within the Commission raises very worrying questions surrounding the undue influence that tobacco industry lobbyists have on the policy process.

“The EU has signed up to a World Health Organisation’s (WHO) convention on tobacco control. This convention explicitly states that public health policy makers have an obligation ‘to ensure that they protect these policies from the commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry’.

“The WHO convention therefore must form the core of this legislation and have its principles incorporated by the Commission in drafting this directive. As part of my brief on behalf of the GUE/NGL group in the EU Parliament I will be tracking the drafting of the legislation and where there isn’t adherence to the principles of the WHO convention I will be raising serious questions.”

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