Support Directive to Regulate Tobacco Packaging in the European Union

Target: European Union Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg

Goal: Further regulate tobacco packaging in the European Union to increase public awareness about the dangers of smoking.

The European Union (EU), consisting of 27 member states, has initiated a directive that would revise its 2001 Tobacco Products Directive to further regulate packaging on tobacco products. If passed, these new regulations could become law by 2014. Sign this petition and support the directive to further regulate tobacco packaging in the EU.

The new regulations on tobacco packaging are meant to make smoking less attractive so that young people will hopefully not start smoking and so that current smokers will be turned off of the habit. The new regulations would increase the minimum requirement for health warnings from 30 percent of the front of the box and 40 percent of the back of the box to 75 percent of both the front and the back to be covered in health warnings. Strong flavors meant to mask the taste of tobacco, such as menthol and vanilla, which are considered to be more attractive to young smokers, will also be banned. Additionally, tobacco companies would no longer be able to use misleading words such as “light,” “mild,” and “low tar” to brand their cigarettes.

These new regulations are an important step in reducing the number of tobacco sales and hopefully an important step towards eliminating smoking in the EU. The directive will still allow company branding on tobacco packaging. Other countries, like Australia, have completely eliminated company colors and logos from tobacco packaging and instead cover cigarette boxes with explicit warnings about the dangers of smoking. Countries such as Scotland and Wales have tobacco display bans that require stores to keep tobacco products beneath the counter or in covered cabinets and out of sight to prospective buyers. The EU will extend the new regulations on packaging to include roll-your-own cigarettes and will maintain the current ban on chewing tobacco.

These new regulations by the EU, Australia, and Scotland are all part of a global movement to stop people from smoking. Millions die from tobacco-related deaths each year and more nations need to issue protective measures against smoking. Sign this petition and show your support of the EU Commission’s draft directive for more regulations on tobacco packaging.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear EU Health Commissioner, Tonio Borg,

We support the planned changes to the EU’s 2001 Tobacco Products Directive that would issue further regulations on tobacco packaging in the EU. Our hope is that these proposed protective measures will help to decrease sales among current smokers and discourage young people from starting to smoke.

We do believe that there is more the EU can do to eliminate smoking, such as issuing tobacco display bans and prohibiting all company branding on packaging; however, we recognize that the proposed revisions are a major step forward and we support the Commission’s measure to further regulate tobacco packaging. We appreciate the ban on misleading words, such as “light” and “mild,” and also the ban on flavors that mask the taste of the tobacco which makes smoking more attractive to young people. Thank you for taking part in the global movement to end smoking.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ajnabeee via flickr

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