Plans to ban cigarettes in packs of less than 20 and roll your own tobacco in less than 30g have moved another step closer after an influential committee of MEPs backed the revised European Tobacco Products Directive (EUTPD).
The draft legislation, which has already been agreed with the Council of Ministers, has now been endorsed by Public Health Committee MEPs.
The legislation will also require packs to carry health warnings that cover 65% of their fronts and backs.
Current legislation requires that health warnings cover at least 30% of the area of the front of the pack and 40% of the back.
Menthol and other flavoured products would also be banned from 2020.
E-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products, if they are presented as having curative or preventive properties, or as tobacco products.
In the latter case, they should not contain nicotine in a concentration of more than 20 mg/ml. Refillable cartridges would be allowed, albeit with a clause enabling the Commission to extend the ban if such cartridges are prohibited in at least three member states.
A single cartridge should contain the equivalent in nicotine of a pack of cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes would also be required to carry health warnings and subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco products.
The agreed text will now be debated and put to a plenary vote, either at the 24-27 February session or on the 10-13 March.