Sunday, 17 December, 2017

New Laws In The UK And EU Further Restrict Tobacco Industry

Wants measure to be adopted for lower slab cigarettes in upcoming budget Wants measure to be adopted for lower slab cigarettes in upcoming budget
Connie Andrews | 21 May, 2017, 02:28

New regulations from the European Union aim to discourage young people from picking up smoking. The EU cites evidence that pictorial warnings have been shown to contribute to the reduction of smoking rates in Canada and Brazil.

A review of evidence of standardised packaging carried out by the University of Stirling's Institute for Social Marketing found standard packs are less appealing.

In addition to increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 and prohibiting tobacco sales at pharmacies, Rep. Paul McMurtry's bill would also add e-cigarettes to the definition of "tobacco product", raise the age to purchase e-cigarettes to 21 and ban smokeless e-cigarette use in smoke-free workplaces.

A raft of new rules concerning the sale of cigarettes and tobacco have come into force, banning the sale of 10-cigarette packs and stipulating that all tobacco must be sold in plain green packets.

The regulations became law this time a year ago but companies have had 12 months to sell old stock and fully implement the changes under the directive, which was adopted in 2014 but was held up by a series of court cases testing its legality. The BBC reports that some have called the new standardized cartons "the ugliest color in the world".

An estimated 700,000 premature deaths are caused each year, and cancer charities are backing the measures. Whilst figures fromFrance, that introduced plain packaging in January 2017, show cigarette consumption actually increased compared to past year when branding was allowed.

She said: "If this is to change then a priority for the next Government must be to publish a new tobacco control plan with tough new targets, focused on tackling health inequalities".

TMA director general Giles Roca said: "It is clear from this research that plain packaging and the small packs ban, measures imposed by Europe and adopted by the United Kingdom government, are already having an impact on smokers' behaviour as they seek out cheaper alternatives from the black market and overseas". Simon Clark, director of the smoker's rights group Forest, released a statement this week, saying that the rules are counter-productive.

Others fear that the new restrictions on e-cigarettes will encourage people to go back to regular cigarettes, or will buy products on the black market.

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