There is no evidence that, one year after its full implementation in EU member states, the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) has reduced smoking rates, according to the smokers’ campaign group Forest EU.
TPD2 measures were said to have included an immediate ban on packs containing fewer than 20 cigarettes, a ban on flavored cigarettes (except menthol, which will be banned in 2020) and severe restrictions on the ability of smokers to access e-cigarettes.
“The regulations are excessive, even by the European Commission’s standards,” said
Guillaume Périgois, director of Forest EU. “Smokers are being treated as second class citizens in a disgraceful attempt to denormalize both the product and their habit.
“Larger pictorial warnings are problematic since the Commission itself is now on record having called into question the proportionality of larger health warnings in delivering public health gains. If they are clearly visible, smaller warnings are just as effective as larger warnings in the eyes of the consumer.”
Calling for the Commission to explore alternative models of achieving public health gains that didn’t ostracize smokers, Périgois said the Commission needed to look at new approaches, for instance supporting member states in the provision of education programs or in providing a proper framework in which smokers could explore the growing vaping sector.