Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council : extracts from the arrivals and doorsteps
End production: 21/06/2013 First transmission: 21/06/2013
European Health Ministers met in Luxembourg today in order to forge a general approach on a revision of the EU tobacco directive, on the basis of a compromise proposal of the presidency. Discussions were expected to be tough. The Commission's proposal, published on 19 December 2012, is aimed at making tobacco products less attractive by strengthening rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented and sold. In order to address the most contentious issues identified by the Council's preparatory bodies, the presidency proposals include: reducing the coverage of health warnings on tobacco products
packages from 75% to 70% but adding a black border of 1mm outside of the surface reserved for the warning, renouncing for the moment to ban slim cigarettes, banning additives which result in a characterising flavour or that increase addictiveness and
toxicity, and inviting the Commission to report on the feasibility of positive list of tobacco products ingredients.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Maria Larsson, Swedish Minister for Children and the Elderly.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Maria Larsson: We welcome the new Tobacco Directive because it's also our priority to deter our minors, and to reduce all tobacco use in our country. But, for Sweden it's also a necessity to have the right to decide ourselves about snus. So that is what I will fight for today.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) James Reilly, Irish Minister for Health: I think we have a wonderful opportunity today to really progress an anti-smoking measure here in Europe. There are still some difficulties; some countries are still having some problems, but what I'll be trying to remind people, and keep to the fore of their mind, is that there's 700,000 Europeans dying from tobacco related illness every year, and the longer we leave this unaddressed, I think, the more trouble we should have on our conscience.
||Arrival of Beatrice Lorenzin, Italian Minister for Health.
||Arrival of Astrid Krag, Danish Minister for Health.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Astrid Krag: Well, I know that there are many positions and that the negotiations have been hard, but I expect that we will come to a sort of agreement that will make it possible to move forward on a very important Directive, when you look at the health in Europe. For me, I think the two the most important aspects are: that we can regulate the toxic ingredients in the tobacco, and especially that we can regulate that the tobacco industry will not be able to make products directed at children, you know, the candy tobacco. And luckily these products are not in the market in Denmark as of yet, but I have no interest in seeing them in the Danish market because I think one of the most important priorities is to protect children and young people against the harm of smoking.