With a new Directive enforced on May 19th the European Union has officially banned deceptive advertisment regarding tobacco and its derivates. Member states have 2 years time to comply with the new norms regulating the sale of tobacco in the EU market.
Say goodbye to menthol cigarettes and other fruit flavoured tobacco derivates: from now on tobacco products have to look and taste like tobacco!
Masking tobacco’s characteristic harsh flavor is thought to lure increasing numbers of young people into smoking. EU data reports that “70% of smokers start smoking before the age of 18, while 94% start before the age of 25″.
The marketing of tobacco products will also be disciplined more strictly. No more attractive lipstick-style cigarette packages to attract women into buying tobacco or any packaging which targets specific audiences without ensuring they are well-informed on the health risks of smoking. From now on, health warnings (text or images) have to appear on both sides of cigarette packages and roll-your-own tobacco.
Nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes e must also adjust their packaging to the new safety regulations regarding labelling. A concern that is particularly strong when it comes to e-cigarettes since the actual amount of nicotine contained (which should never be grater than 20 mg per ml) often does not correspond to the numbers found on the label. In addition to the fact that the “long-term effects of e-cigarettes on public health are not yet known”.
This agreement is an important achievement for the protection of those caterogies which are at a greater risk of being led on by advertisments that conceal the scientific fact that nicotine is harmful for your health. With the enforcement of this directive the EU hopes to reduce smokers by 2% by 2020.