- Why is the vote essential from a public health point of view?

Europe has already fallen behind internationally on tobacco control and this Directive is essential if we are going to respect our obligations under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The revision of the Tobacco Products Directive , as agreed by the Member States and the European Parliament in December, however, does make remarkable steps forward in European tobacco control. A positive vote of the European Parliament will ensure the protection of young people and children across Europe by saving many lives and preventing young European citizens from starting to smoke.

- Actions taken by EPHA member organisations

The voice of the European public health and tobacco control community is strong. You can find out about actions taken by EPHA members, in respect of the adoption of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) by clicking on the following hyperlinks.

On the importance of stricter European rules on tobacco control

Europe pays a hefty price for its slow action on tobacco, both in economic costs and harm to its citizens’ health and well-being. Tobacco is a major risk factor of cancer, [1] cardio-vascular disease  [2] and other chronic diseases such as the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) [3]

The public health community in Europe is counting on the support of the European Parliament to protect the next generation of European citizens and is looking forward to your vote in plenary for a Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) that places the health of European citizens above the interests of the tobacco industry.

- Background information about the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) negotiating process

The Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) regulates the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products in the EU 28 Member States.

- The state of play of negotiations on the TPD

In order for the two co-legislators to come to an agreement, the so-called trilogue negotitations commenced in October 2013 between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission. Four rounds of negotiations were held on (23 October, 12 November, 2 December and 16 December 2013).

During the final trilogue meeting on 16 December 2013, the negotiating parties came to a preliminary agreement which needed the approval of the Member States. On 18 December 2013, Members States approved this compromise during the meeting of the Permanent Representatives of Member States (COREPER) . As this was achieved during its first reading, the compromise did not need to proceed to a second reading. In practice, the TPD still now remains to be approved by the European Parliament during plenary voting on 26 February in order to come into effect.

- For more, detailed information, read the [EPHA explainer] Lost in co-decision? A case study on the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) & e-cigarettes

- Next steps

After the plenary vote, the Council of the European Union representing the Member States, will be in a position to approve the text and a revised legal text can be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, hopefully before the European Elections.

EPHA related articles


[1] After circulatory diseases, cancer was the second most common cause of death in 2006, accounting for two out of ten deaths in women and three out of ten deaths in men, equating to approximately 3.2 million EU citizens diagnosed with cancer each year.

[2] Each year cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes over 4 million deaths in Europe and over 1.9 million deaths in the European Union (EU). CVD causes 47% of all deaths in Europe and 40% in the EU.

[3] The primary cause of COPD is tobacco smoke (through tobacco use or second-hand smoke). In Europe 4-10% of adults have COPD. Total COPD related expenses for outpatient care (= not in hospital) in the EU is approximately €4,7 billion per year, while for inpatient care (=in hospital) these expenses cost around €2,9 billion, with an additional €2,7 billion per year spent on pharmaceutical expenses.

Last modified on February 28 2014.