A draft law to make smoking less attractive to the young by banning the use of ‘characterised’ flavours such as strawberry or menthol in tobacco products was backed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. But they also amended the draft to require health warnings on every side of a cigarette pack and ban slim cigarettes and ‘attractive’ packaging.
‘The focus is to prevent the industry from recruiting new smokers among the young,’ said Linda McAvan (S&D, UK) who is steering the legislation through Parliament. ‘The smoking trend is down, as action by public authorities has reduced the number of smokers over the years. However, there is a worrying drift: 29% of young people smoke. The World Health Organization has shown that since 2005, the trend has been going up amongst young boys and girls in some countries,’ she added.
The draft legislation was approved by 50 votes to 13, with eight abstentions.