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EU seeks bigger health warnings for cigarettes


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EU seeks bigger health warnings for cigarettes

The EU’s health chief wants bigger warnings on cigarette packets and bans on flavours such as menthol.

Commissioner Tonio Borg unveiled proposals to tighten regulation on tobacco packaging on Wednesday.

He spoke to euronews to explain why the legislation is important.

The idea is to have health warnings cover up to seventy-five percent of the front and back of packets.

French Green MEP Michele Rivasi says that doesn’t go far enough.

“It’s not the neutral packaging they have in Australia,” she said. “I’m against the Commission asking for each member state go further if they choose. It must be harmonised across Europe.

The plans put forward by the EU executive have angered key players in the industry. Ulf Bauer is British American Tobacco’s chief lobbyist in Brussels.

“To me it’s outrageous. It’s not health warnings anymore. It takes away the brand, the intellectual property from the companies. I will not exclude going to court on (the) 75% (rule),” he said.

The new proposals come after Borg’s predecessor, John Dalli, resigned in October.

One of his associates allegedly sought bribes from a Swedish snus maker in return for scrapping a sales ban outside Sweden.

Dalli denies any knowledge of or involvement in corruption.

Click on the video above to see the full interview with EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg.

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