New EU Tobacco Pack Criteria Upheld by Court
04 May, 2016
As of 20th May, the EU’s new regulations stressing the need for 65% of cigarette packs to be covered with appropriate health warnings will come into force. This week, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the new measures are “appropriate and necessary” to reduce smoking.
The Court’s decision also upheld a future EU ban on menthol cigarettes throughout the Union, solely opposed by Poland. Tighter measures on electronic cigarettes were also agreed on, and promotional statements such as “this product is free of additives” or “is less harmful than other brands” have been banned.
The new rules were introduced to the EU Tobacco Products Directive in 2014, but have been delayed by a number of court cases. Overall, the regulations have been appealed against by Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, with Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands acting as related parties, but the Court claims the new regulations protect human health and meet the Union’s responsibilities under UN tobacco agreements.
“The court considers that the prohibition is such as to protect consumers against the risks associated with tobacco use and does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve the objective pursued,” said the ECJ in a statement.
The new measures will be implemented as of 20th May, with a one-year sell-through period for businesses to sell current stock, aiming to cut the number of smokers in the EU by 2.4 million.