Reports and Articles
European Union adds teeth to its anti-tobacco legislation
The Lancet: March, 2014
A new European Union anti-tobacco directive presents some victories for health advocates but industry pressure has weakened the final text, say campaigners. John Maurice reports.
The battle rages on. On one side, the tobacco industry. On the other, the public health community. Since the discovery in the mid-20th century of tobacco’s devastating effects on health, the battle has been fought on many fronts, most visibly in the USA. At the turn of this century, the European Union (EU) joined the fray in earnest. In 2001, it introduced a “tobacco products directive” that put a clamp on how the tobacco industry makes and markets its products. This first directive has since become outdated by new ways of consuming and marketing tobacco, new information about the damage it inflicts on health, and new ways of limiting its use. A new EU directive has just been passed by the EU Parliament that aims to strengthen and update EU tobacco control policies. The numbers certainly make a strong case for a stronger directive. Every year, on average, 700 000 people in the EU die from tobacco-related causes. About a quarter of EU inhabitants smoke regularly. About 70% of them became hooked before the age of 18 years and about half of them will ultimately die prematurely from tobacco-related causes.
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights released a fact sheet on e-cigarettes and secondhand aerosol that can be accessed using the link below. The information includes legislation related to e-cigarettes and compounds that are found in e-cigarettes.