A ban on menthol cigarettes and an obligation for combined picture and text health warnings to cover 65% of the front and the back of tobacco packs could be in place within the next three years.
The actions form part of a revised draft of the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) which was agreed by the European Council last week.
It is seeking to make tobacco products less attractive by strengthening the rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented and sold.
The deal includes the following key elements:
• A ban on the use of characterising flavours such as menthol, fruit and chocolate, so that tobacco products taste and smell like tobacco products.
• An obligation for combined picture and text health warnings to cover 65 % of the front and the back of tobacco packs.
• A ban of any “misleading labelling” including words such as “natural” or “organic”.
• The final and casting vote will be made by the TPD’s lead committee, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee (ENVI) in mid July.
If ENVI, whose rapporteur (chair) is British Labour MEP Linda McAvan, approves the law, it will be used as a basis for the EU Parliament’s first reading in October. It could then be in force across the 27 member states within three years.