The Tobacco Product Directive will rule how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented and sold.

Content of the Proposed Directive

In the proposed Tobacco Product Directive, the European Commission has proposed to:

  • maintain the existing ban on oral tobacco (snus)
  • ban the use of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco (RYO) and smokeless tobacco products with flavours
  • make the use of large pictorial health warnings mandatory on cigarettes and RYO (75% of the front and the back of the package)
  • regulate cross border internet sale
  • foresee technical features to combat illicit trade
  • introduce new measures for e-cigarettes and herbal products for smoking
  • Introduce specific labelling and ingredient regulations for chewing and nasal tobacco.
  • let Member States decide to introduce plain packaging "in duly justified cases"
  • prohibit products with increased toxicity and addictiveness.

The Tobacco Product Directive revision was long over-due. Dating from 2001, it was outdated and didn’t take into account the regulatory, scientific and marketing developments that have taken place over the last decade.

EPHA reaction

- The revised Tobacco Directive - the beginning of the end of tobacco industry led policy-making?

Today’s release is only the beginning. Now that the revised Tobacco Directive has entered into the co-decision (4) process, the ball is in the European Parliament and the European Council’s court. The current parliamentary term comes to an end in June 2014. If these institutions do not make sure that a people-centred Directive is approved by then, the new Parliament and next College of Commissioners will find themselves back at square one.

We are hopeful there is enough political will to complete the process next year and to go even further than this proposal, joining Australia and other countries in introducing mandatory plain packaging across the EU," according to Ms Kosińska.

- Debunking false claims made by the tobacco industry

- EPHA position on TPD


EPHA will monitor progress made on the adoption of the Directive and will support Members of the European Parliament and Health ministers for a smooth adoption of a strong and more stringent Directive to protect millions of people. “Today Mr Borg kept his word that the release of the revised TPD would be one of his priorities when taking up the Health and Consumer portfolio. This long-delayed revision is a leap forwards towards better health protection of hundreds of millions of people in Europe. I hope this is a watershed moment for the relationship between the Commission and the tobacco industry, and indicates a move towards greater transparency,“ said Monika Kosińska, Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance

Last modified on February 4 2013.