Ahead of the 8 October plenary vote of the European Parliament on the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) report
The Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) is not only one of the last major pieces of EU regulation that will be adopted before next year’s elections to the European Parliament (EP). It is also one of the last opportunities to make a meaningful difference not only in the health and well-being of people living in Europe now but also of that of generations to come. Smoking has devastating consequences; from outright death to chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory diseases like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), to heart attacks - and always a severe impact in the smoker (active and passive) health and well-being. The next plenary vote of the EP on the revision of the Tobacco Products Directive holds the potential to diminish exponentially the damage caused by smoking and to better protect children living in Europe from taking up this deadly habit in the first place.
Pictorial and text warnings of 75% or more are proven to be more effective in reducing the attractiveness of tobacco products to children and young people.
Warnings placed at the top edge of the packet will not interfere with the tax stamp and ensure that the health warnings are visible at the point of display.
After introducing similar measures, figures in Canada show that the smoking rate amongst 15-19 year-olds was 12% in 2011, half the rate of the same age group in 2000. In Uruguay, since the introduction of pictorial warnings in 2005, smoking among 15-17 year-olds has decreased by 8% annually.
Most Europeans support bold tobacco control measures as tobacco remains the major cause of preventable death -smoking causes 700,000 deaths each year in the EU and disease in the EU - like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - a serious respiratory disease that affects up to 10% of the European adult population and is estimated to be the third leading cause of death by 2020 (Murray & Lopez, 1996).
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