Tory MEPs vote to delay action on tobacco marketing tactics

With the government’s decision to backtrack on standardised tobacco packaging being debated in Westminster, Tory MEPs in Brussels cast the deciding votes to delay progress on EU legislation to protect children from tobacco marketing tactics.

 Glenis Willmott, Labour MEPs’ spokesperson for public health, said:

 “It’s a disgrace that Tory MEPs sided with the tobacco industry. They have delayed a vital new law which would introduce bigger picture warnings and stop the industry making tobacco more attractive to children with innovative packaging and flavourings.

 “It is a key tactic of the tobacco industry to delay and block the Tobacco Products Directive, and Tory MEPs have given them a helping hand.”

 Labour MEP Linda McAvan, rapporteur for the Tobacco Products Directive, added:

 “All the proper procedures for the vote had been respected, with the timetable in place since January. There was no valid reason to postpone the vote.

 “We must now make sure that the vote goes ahead on the 8th October, and that there are no more delay tactics.

 “Around 570 children between the ages of 11-15 start smoking everyday in the UK and we cannot justify failing to act.”

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