- extracts from the hearing
EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - EP
End production: 25/02/2013 First transmission: 25/02/2013
A public hearing on the legislative proposal of the Tobacco Products Directive, adopted more than 10 years ago, was held today among the members of the ENVI-Committee, responsible among other thins, of public health measures. From a report by Linda McAVAN (S&D), institutional representatives, main stakeholders, health and other experts exchanged views on the subject. The Council and the Parliament have several times called for a revision on this regulation. This revision will focus on five policy areas: smokeless tobacco products and extension of the product scope; packaging and labeling; ingredients and additives; cross-border distance sales and traceability and security features.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior shot of the EP, Brussels
||Ambience shots ahead the start of the meeting (4 shots).
||SOUNDBITE (English) James REILLY, Irish Minister for Health: "Approximately 700 000 Europeans die every single year of tobacco related causes. Smoking is the largest avoidable health risk in Europe, causing more problems than alcohol, drug abuse and obesity. EU public health care expenditure in treating smoking attributed diseases is estimated at 25.3 billion euro annually and 8.3 billion euro is loss annually in productivity from job absenteeism and early retirement linked to smoking. And that's before you count the cost of the human misery that this habit causes right across all our people".
||SOUNDBITE (English) James REILLY, Irish Minister for Health: "The ambition of the proposal is to make tobacco products and smoking less attractive and thus discourage initiation among young people. The proposal aims to achieve this by placing stricter rules on features that increase the attractiveness of tobacco products, for example, ban on characterising flavours and flavourings. It also proposes to increase the size of the health warnings on the tobacco products packs".
||SOUNDBITE (English) James REILLY, Irish Minister for Health: "This is about saving lives, it's about protecting our citizens and it's about shielding our children from this killer habit. Thank you".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Tonio BORG, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy: "New tobacco products have appeared on the market which look like lipstick; I have here something which doesn't look like tobacco, it looks like a perfume or a lipstick (he shows the product). And even the colours that they use and the way they are marketed. And then tobacco should not only look like tobacco, it should taste like tobacco as well, and not like vanilla or smell like sweets".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Tonio BORG, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy: "75% of the cover of this tobacco product (he shows the product) will have to show warnings, pictorial or otherwise. We also proposed that there are no promotional elements on tobacco products and no attractive lipstick shaped packages. My aim is that when people look at the tobacco product they get a very clear message that this product will damage their health. Then, it is up to each and every person to decide whether or not to consume the product".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Tonio BORG, EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy: "We propose to maintain the ban on snus. Snus is addictive, has adverse health effects, it's increasingly sold in Sweden in packages and flavours targeting young people, and has great market growth potential. So these are the attractive packaging or presentation of snus (he shows the product)". Cutaway.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Linda McAVAN, Rapporteur: "I remind all members here that we do have the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, mentioned by both the Minister and by our Commissioner. I, as Rapporteur, will work within the context of that convention and therefore I'll be limiting my contacts with business to the way the Convention suggests, which is to have public meetings with the industry, which should be minuted and recorded and remind all MEPs that you too are bound by the Framework Convention on Tobacco control, and you too if you meet a tobacco industry, you should also be meeting in a public way, recording those meetings and making sure you are transparent about who you meet".
||SOUNDBITE (English) Mariead McGUINNESS (EPP, IR): "We know that cigarettes kill. We want, I think those of us who have children, that the will not start smoking, and it's our duty to legislate for that. We do need to look at the illicit trade but let's not say 'we cannot take action to prevent people starting to smoke because of our concerns about the illicit trade'. We need action on both fronts and therefore I am concerned and I think Ms McAVAN was correct to talk about the lobbying activities of those who want to see smoking continue, let's hear her warning".
||Cutways (3 shots)