Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

Europe

European Parliament rejects curb on e-cigarettes

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-08

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a watered-down bill on tobacco regulation and rejected a proposal to limit the sale of e-cigarettes, an increasingly popular product.

European lawmakers on Tuesday approved a long-fought and divisive anti-smoking bill aimed at making cigarettes less attractive to youngsters but threw out a bid to curb sales of increasingly popular e-cigarettes.

The European Parliament in Brussels refused to classify electronic cigarettes as medicinal products, which would have restricted their sale to pharmacies.

E-cigarettes, which are booming worldwide, will therefore continue to be available in tobacco shops or specialist stores but will be banned for sale to minors and no advertising will be allowed.

The law, which still must win approval from the 28 European Union states, will force tobacco firms to print large health warnings covering 65 percent of the packaging, with the name of the brand printed at the bottom.

That was less than the 75 percent originally proposed by the European Commission.

Flavoured cigarettes popular with youngsters will be banned in line with the proposal.

But in a considerable watering down of the proposals, "slims" will remain on the market and menthol cigarettes will only be banned eight years after the law comes into effect.

The aim of the new legislation is to cut the number of smokers across the 500-million bloc "by two percent in the next five years," the EU's Health Commissioner Toni Borg said, as he urged MEPs to be "daring" and support the plan.

But these first anti-smoking measures in more than a decade, which specifically aim to discourage young smokers, unleashed a tough lobbying campaign from the tobacco industry.

MEPs say Philip Morris alone invested 1.4 million euros ($1.9 million) to convince the parliament to scrap parts of the proposal and 176 amendments to the European Commission's proposal were tabled.

Last Friday, health ministers from 16 of the 28 European Union states issued an appeal for a swift adoption of the law. It was supposed to go before parliament in September but was delayed on the request of the conservative, liberal and euro-sceptic groups.

The legislation will not come into effect before 2017.

The proposed new rules on labelling, ingredients and smokeless products also fell short of demands by some health campaigners for a total ban on company branding and logos on packets, along the lines of measures enforced in Australia.

Borg said on introducing the proposals that with 70 percent of smokers starting before the age of 18, the ambition was "to make tobacco products and smoking less attractive and thus discourage tobacco initiation among young people".

Almost 700,000 Europeans die from tobacco-related illnesses each year – equal to the population of Frankfurt or Palermo – with associated health costs running at more than 25 billion euros.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-10-08

  • FRANCE - SMOKING

    French doctors voice support for e-cigarettes

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    E-cigarettes may be carcinogenic, report claims

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Minister urges e-cigarette ban in public places

    Read more

COMMENT(S)