Commissioner Borg welcomes agreement on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive

 "I welcome the agreement reached at COREPER level today on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. It's a direct outcome of the last trilogue between the European Parliament and EU Member States on this important text for EU citizens.


This agreement – pending the vote in the European Parliament Plenary and formal adoption by the Council - means a new Directive will ensure that tobacco products look and taste like tobacco products and help discourage young people from starting to smoke.


I am particularly pleased that the Parliament and the Council have endorsed the two keys measures of the Commission proposal: large mandatory photo and text warnings on both sides of the pack of cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, and no characterising flavours allowed in these products.


I firmly believe that prominent visual warnings will serve as effective reminders of the severe health consequences of smoking and help people make well-informed choices. And the prohibition of characterising flavours such as fruit or menthol, which appeal to young people, will make smoking initiation less appealing. Together with the fact that attractive lipstick style packages will not be allowed either, these measures will help reduce the number of children and young people who start smoking.


In addition, the Commission proposal for an EU-wide tracking and tracing system to combat illicit trade of tobacco products - the first of its kind in the EU – was endorsed by the co-legislators.


Finally, I congratulate the European Parliament and EU Member States on reaching an agreement on electronic cigarettes, setting in place clear safety and quality standards for this growing sector of the market. The Commission will closely monitor developments and trends in this emerging market.


I congratulate the European Parliament, in particular the rapporteur Linda McAvan, her shadow Rapporteurs, the Council and the EU Presidencies (Ireland and Lithuania) for this major achievement."


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