Ahead of a crucial vote on tobacco products legislation in the European Parliament next week, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, is urging colleagues to vote in favour of strong tobacco control measures.

“The measures proposed in this legislation should not be controversial. Measures such as; combined picture and text warnings, banning of flavourings attractive to young people and banning of slim cigarettes are not extreme. They are simple yet effective measures to dissuade young people from commence smoking.

“Leaked documents however from Philip Morris Inc unfortunately show that 161 of their lobbyists met with more than 31% of MEPs before June of this year in order to weaken and delay this legislation.

“It is worrying that so many elected representatives are willing to listen to industry lobbyists for a product which so clearly damages the health of so many within their own constituencies.”