EU Plans to Spell the End of Cigarette Branding - ReportBulgaria in EU | December 19, 2012, Wednesday // 13:02| views
The new legislation is seen by both officials and industry as spelling the end of legendary cigarette branding such as Gitanes, JPS, Gauloises or Camel, the Daily Telegrpah wrote. File photo
Taking a cue from Australia, the European Union is considering shock tactics on the cigarette market, including ban on menthol and electronic cigarettes and graphic anti-smoking warnings, according to reports.
The European Union will require graphic anti-smoking warnings to cover 75 per cent of cigarette packets, under new draft legislation seen by The Daily Telegraph.
"Each unit packet shall carry combined health warnings (picture plus text). The combined warnings shall cover 75 per cent of the external area of both the front and back surface of the packet," said
"However, a member state may maintain more stringent national provisions on grounds of overriding needs relating to the protection of public health."
Britain and other countries will also be given the all-clear under the EU's single market rules to go further by copying an Australian law imposing plain packaging, which completely removes branding, from cigarette packets.
Tobacco companies are expected to mount legal challenges to the EU legislation that, it is claimed, will destroy famous brands by covering them up with graphic pictures of cancers or amputated limbs to show the damage caused by smoking cigarettes.
Popular menthol cigarette flavouring will be banned as it is said to attract younger consumers but older smokers will still be able to enjoy flavoured pipe tobacco.
The EU legislation will also propose a "de facto" ban on electronic cigarettes, which deliver a smokeless nicotine hit, which in future must be authorised as "medicinal products" as well as continuing to outlaw "snus", Swedish snuff.
Chris Snowdon, a fellow of the Institute of Economic affairs, told the Daily Telegraph that the EU proposals were "damaging for liberty and disastrous for public health" because both e-cigarettes and snus are healthier alternatives to smoking.
"Instead of finding ways to help smokers quit, the commission has adopted silly and ineffective shock tactics such as bigger warning labels which are plain packaging by the back door," he said.
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