Smoking – Labour MEPs vote to protect children

cig 2Labour MEPs voted yesterday for a raft of proposals aimed at protecting children from being targeted by tobacco companies.

The measures include graphic warnings to cover 65 per cent of cigarette packaging; the banning of chocolate and strawberry flavoured cigarettes; and a ban on menthol cigarettes in eight years’ time.

Conservative MEPs, however, voted down other measures, including a ban on slim cigarettes, which are targeted at young women.

East Midlands MEP Glenis Willmott, who is Labour’s public health spokesperson in Europe, said: “The vote yesterday was an important step towards preventing children taking up smoking.”

“In the UK alone, there are 4,000 children each week who start smoking.  

“This is a product that kills one in two people that use it.

“There is only one reason tobacco companies produce chocolate and menthol cigarettes – and that is to lure children into taking up this lethal addiction.

“These changes will make smoking less attractive to young people, and stop many from smoking in the first place.”

”However, Labour MEPs want even stronger measures, something supported by leading healthcare organisations including Cancer Research UK, the British Medical Association and the British Heart Foundation.”


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