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EUROPEAN UNION

Commission said to agree on warnings, flavour ban

12 Dec 2012. Graphic warnings covering 75 per cent of the front and back of cigarette packs and bans on slims and flavours will be proposed by the European Union Commission, according to a report in the German tabloid Bild.

EU Commissioners are preparing to announce proposals for a general revision of the Tobacco Products Directive. The newspaper did not cite a source for its report, nor say when the Commission will make their proposal public.

An additive ban would include colours, vitamins, caffeine and the acid taurine, Bild reported. It was unclear from the article whether the proposed EU ban would include menthol. Commissioners plan to recommend banning cigarettes narrower than the standard 7.5mm width, according to Bild.

Setting aside 75 per cent on the two faces would drastically reduce space for branding and place the 27 EU members among countries with the most space devoted to warnings. Currently warnings are a national concern. Two EU countries with large warnings are Belgium, with 48 per cent of the front and 63 per cent of the back, and Ireland (45 per cent/58 per cent).

Australia became the country with the most space devoted to warnings this year when it increased their size to 75 per cent of the front and 90 per cent of the back as part of the world’s first plain-packaging law. According to a Canadian government report released in October, Canada and Brunei require warnings cover 75 per cent of the front and back. Uruguay and Sri Lanka require 80 per cent warnings on the two sides. (pi)