December 13, 2012
BRUSSELS (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) -- Smoking is to become a less attractive proposition in the European Union, according to proposals on the design of cigarette boxes that the bloc's executive in Brussels is expected to unveil next week.
A spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg confirmed that the proposals would cover cigarette packaging and the use of flavourings in cigarettes, as well as options to protect against forgery, after Germany's Bild newspaper reported on the measures.
According to the newspaper, cigarette boxes sold in the EU would in future be almost entirely covered in warnings such as "Smoking kills" and shocking images of smoking-induced diseases, leaving little room for company branding.
Some EU countries, such as Denmark, already force manufacturers to print such shocking images.
In addition, the proposal would introduce a ban on additives such as vitamins, caffeine, taurine or colourings in cigarette tobacco, according to Bild. It would also outlaw cigarettes with a diameter of less than 7.5mm, popular among female smokers.
The commission's tobacco directive became embroiled in controversy as Borg's predecessor, John Dalli, was forced to resign in October after he was investigated for allegedly improper contacts with the tobacco industry.
The tobacco industry has vigorously lobbied against the proposed changes, which would need to be approved by the European Parliament and member states.
Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH