Cigarettes sold in packets of ten or flavoured with menthol will be banned by 2016 and 2022 respectively after MEPs voted for tighter regulations on smoking.
Cigarettes can cause serious health problems
The regulations set out to reduce the number of women and young people smoking and will introduce advertising restrictions on electronic cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes are increasingly popular and are considered much less harmful than real cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes come in a variety of flavours and use a nicotine based vapour solution to help smokers looking to quit by using a healthier option.
The legislation was drafted by Labour MEP Linda McAvan and has been designed to protect young people from starting to smoke via attractive packaging and flavoured cigarettes.
McAvan said: “Nearly 4,000 children from Britain start smoking each week, that’s roughly 200,000 new young smokers each year.”
The decision to ban packets of 10 has been supported by the government and would impact an estimated two million British smokers because smaller packs account for 38% of cigarettes sold in the UK.
Italy is the only other country in the EU that still sell cigarettes in packets of ten along with the UK, other countries sell in packs of either 19 or 20.
MEPs also decided to ban menthol cigarettes by 2022 which would remove annual sales of up to £650 million from British cigarette sales.
Critics of the proposed ban believe the new laws will increase smuggling of flavoured cigarettes.
Drago Azinovic, the EU region head of Philip Morris International, warned: “MEPs have voted to ban an entire segment of the legal market, despite the inevitable increase in illegal trade that this will fuel.”
Your health insurance premiums can be affected by how much you smoke and insurance providers can offer you incentives to quit smoking altogether.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013