Menthols axed as EU votes for smoking rules

Oliver Smith
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MENTHOL cigarettes will be banned by 2022 and cigarette packet health warnings increased to cover 65 per cent of packaging according to new EU health rules voted on yesterday.

The European Parliament voted to water down the European Commission’s proposed tobacco directive which included an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes and health warnings covering 75 per cent of packets.

“Misguided proposals to ban menthol tobacco products threaten to further fuel illicit trade, undermining our significant work with the European Anti-Fraud Office and EU Member States to tackle the problem,” said Imperial Tobacco. “We remain extremely concerned about the scale of ill-informed and excessive regulation set to be imposed on our industry.”

The parliament also rejected proposals to restrict e-cigarettes to only be sold on medicinal grounds, and said manufacturers should be free to sell e-cigarettes in supermarkets as long as they are not specifically marketed as an aide to help quit smoking.
It was the parliament’s first reading of the draft tobacco directive that could become law in 2014.