The measures would bring in larger picture warnings covering two-thirds of each cigarette pack, with governments free to introduce full standardised packaging. The law also bans an array of gimmicky products that tobacco companies use to target young people, such as flavoured cigarettes and lipstick and perfume packs. Additionally, e-cigarettes will be regulated for the first time.
East Midlands Labour MEP, Glenis Willmott said:
“Last year, according to figures from Cancer Research, 14,300 people took up smoking in the East Midlands – that’s 1,200 a month. Each day in our region alone, 39 children are taking up smoking.
“We voted last week to pave the way for the government to introduce standardised packs for cigarettes. With picture warnings due to cover two-thirds of the pack, it makes it easier for the government to go that extra step, and take away the branding in the remaining space.”
“These measures will protect children from being cynically targeted by tobacco companies with their chocolate and strawberry flavoured cigarettes, designed to lure young people into a life-long addiction.”
Tobacco is the cause of more than 100,000 deaths each year in the UK – nearly half of smokers will die from a smoking related disease – and remains the leading cause of preventable premature deaths across Europe.
More than 700,000 people a year die in the European Union as a result of smoking and 70% of those started smoking before the age of 18.