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Public Health (27-07-2005)

Tobacco advertising ban takes effect on 31st July

Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, today welcomed the entry into effect of the EU’s Tobacco Advertising Directive on 31 July. Passed by the European Parliament and Council in 2003, the Directive bans tobacco advertising in the print media, on radio and over the internet. It also prohibits tobacco sponsorship of cross-border cultural and sporting events. Though most EU countries have either passed the necessary laws or are in the process of passing them, it is not clear that all will do so by 31 July.

In a separate development, the European Commission has adopted a report on the implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive. This report found that the Directive’s provisions on health warnings and maximum tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide are being respected. However, public authorities have a very incomplete picture of the ingredients being used in cigarettes, their functions and their health effects on consumers, mainly due to incomplete disclosure of information by tobacco companies. A consultation on how to make the disclosure rules on additives more effective will be launched in the autumn.

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