Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the strong message sent to the tobacco companies today when the EU Environment Committee voted to adopt a proposal that Health warnings should cover 75% (combined picture and text) of packaging.
Martina Anderson said:
“The purpose of the Environment Committee deliberations was to identify measures that would discourage young people from taking up this unhealthy habit.
“Although I would have preferred stronger action I am happy that the Committee agreed a higher percentage coverage than the 60% tobacco lobbyists were seeking.
“I also welcome the recommendation that e-cigarettes should come under medical regulations.
“Of course these proposals will have to be adopted by the EU Parliament before it becomes the official position.
“The World Health Organisation’s framework convention on tobacco control which came into force in 2005 and has been signed and ratified by 168 countries including the EU and its member states and lays down obligations for parties to the convention in the rules on interacting with the tobacco industry.
“I commend the Irish Health Minister on his initiative in being the first Minister in Europe to introduce proposals for this type of package warnings. It is therefore confusing that an Taoiseach – in contrast and in breech of article 5.3 which explicitly states that any interaction with the tobacco industry should only take place when strictly necessary and in as transparent a manner as possible – met privately with industry representatives recently.”