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Parliamentary questions
27 July 2017
E-003557/2017
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the Commission

The Commission is aware of the risk of the use of ventilation holes by tobacco manufacturers in order to lower measured values of tar, nicotine and CO emissions (TNCO), such as in so-called ‘light cigarettes’.

Branding such cigarettes as ‘light, mild’ or ‘ultra-light’ had been shown to mislead consumers since they do not have health benefits for smokers. As a result, the Commission banned such descriptors on cigarette packages in 2001(1). Instead, TNCO were required to be indicated.

However as these values were found not to reflect the actual emissions during intended use, the revised Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU(2) discontinued TNCO labelling on cigarette packs.

In absence of a gold standard and for the purpose of regulatory continuity, the International Organisation for Standardisation methodology continues to be used for emission measurement. However, Article 4 of the Tobacco Products Directive gives the Commission delegated power to adapt the measurement methods, based on scientific and technical developments or internationally agreed standards.

The Commission and the Member States have discussed measurement methods in the Expert Group on Tobacco Policy on several occasions(3). By 2021, the Commission will report on the application of the Tobacco Products Directive. If appropriate and based on the findings of the report, proposals for amending the directive may be foreseen.

(1)Directive 2001/37/EC, OJ L 194, 18.7.2001, p. 26
(2)OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 1‐38
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/tobacco/docs/ev_20161202_mi_en.pdf

Last updated: 4 August 2017Legal notice