Other EU activities

Public health policies are not the only way of tackling tobacco use:

  • High taxes on tobacco products are extremely effective in reducing tobacco use, with a particularly big impact on young people. The Directive 2010/12/EU on excise duty on tobacco amends the structure and rates of duty with public health goals in mind.
  • The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) investigates illegal tobacco trading. Illegal traders deprive governments of massive tax revenues, undercut honest traders – and sell more cheaply, making tobacco products more affordable, which is negative for public health. An international Protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products has been negotiated and adopted under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2012. This new international Treaty is currently in the stage of ratification.
  • Tobacco subsidies were once an important but controversial part of the EU's agricultural policy. In the interest of public health, direct tobacco subsidies have been phased out.