On 26th February 1014 the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Tobacco Products Directive. The European Public Health Association (EUPHA) welcomes this vote as an important step towards the achievement of a Tobacco Free Europe. However, it recognises that there is still much to be done and we encourage Member States to go even further, implementing additional measures known to be effective in reducing smoking, and especially standardised packaging.
EUPHA also calls for lessons to be learnt from this process. While we have been waiting for this Directive to complete its unusually prolonged passage into law, the tobacco industry has been able to recruit thousands of Europe’s children, many of whom will die prematurely as a result. This delay is, in large part, due to the actions of powerful vested interests, employing vast lobbying resources. Their success in delaying this process has raised serious concerns about the transparency of the European Union’s institutions, with implications for the European ideal. Europe’s public health community has a duty to speak out where the health of our populations is threatened. We see our call for greater transparency about the activities of the tobacco lobby as reflecting this duty.
Professor Walter Ricciardi, President
Professor Martin McKee, President Elect
Further information: Dineke Zeegers Paget
EUPHA – European Public Health Association
P.O. Box 1568, Otterstraat 118 – 124, 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands
T +31 30 2729 709