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Parliamentary questions
PDF 36kWORD 17k
14 January 2020
 E-003775/2019
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003775/2019

Tobacco consumption is the single largest avoidable health risk, and the most significant cause of premature death in the EU.

The general consensus at present is that none of the current machine smoking regimens adequately represent human smoking behaviour. This includes the Canada Intense method(1). In this respect, there was no sufficient evidence to revise the provisions on measurement methods at the time of the last revision of the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)(2).

Nevertheless, the current TPD discontinued labelling of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide emission on cigarette packs because these values were found not to reflect the actual emissions during the intended use and thus were deemed misleading for consumers. Therefore, consumers no longer have limit values and measurement methods on packets. In addition, misleading descriptors ‘light’, ‘mild’ or ‘ultra-light’ were banned on cigarette packages in 2001 with effect from September 2003(3).

The Commission continues to monitor scientific and technical developments in this area as well as relevant developments at international level including at the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control(4). In the absence of new scientific and technical developments or internationally agreed standards, a modification of measurement methods is not considered necessary at this point in time. By 2021, the Commission will report on the application of the TPD. If appropriate based on findings of the report, it may consider a proposal for amending the directive.

It is important to stress that consumers should not be misled by being given the wrong impression that a changed approach of the testing methods would improve the safety of tobacco products. Tobacco use has deadly effects.

(1)http://apps.who.int/gb/fctc/PDF/cop6/FCTC_COP6_13-en.pdf (p. 7)
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/tobacco/docs/dir_201440_en.pdf
(3)https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/tobacco/docs/dir200137ec_tobaccoproducts_en.pdf
(4)https://www.who.int/fctc/text_download/en/
Last updated: 14 January 2020Legal notice