Minister Donohoe expresses Irish Government support for Tobacco Products Directive

 

Minister Donohoe expresses Irish Government support for Tobacco Products Directive

Minister of State for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe, TD today met Linda McAvan MEP, Rapporteur for the Tobacco Products Directive.

The Minister expressed the Irish Government's strong support for the Tobacco Products Directive and discussed the prospects for early agreement between Parliament and Council. Next week the European Parliament will hold a crucial vote on the Directive.

Minister Donohoe said "I hope the European Parliament will give the Rapporteur a mandate to open negotiations on the Tobacco Products Directive. The Directive will make smoking less attractive, particularly to children and young people. It will ultimately lead to improved health for millions of EU citizens.".

 

Background

Tobacco kills approximately 700,000 EU citizens each year. Millions more have to live with the burden of tobacco related illnesses such as cancer, stroke, heart disease and respiratory conditions. 70% of smokers start before the age of 18. The Tobacco Products Directive aims to make smoking less attractive, particularly to children and young people. The Directive will lead to larger health warnings and prohibit tobacco products with flavours such as menthol and vanilla. In recent months there has been intensive lobbying by the Tobacco Industry to weaken and delay the Directive. EU Health Ministers, under the chairmanship of Minister for Health James Reilly, adopted their position on the Directive in June. Next week the European Parliament will have to decide whether to open negotiations with Council. The Directive will lead to larger health warnings and prohibit flavoured tobacco products