EU Tobacco Control

H/T Pat Nurse for this Times of Malta article:

Europe will soon be adopting a more rigorous approach towards tobacco products. In the wake of the recent blessing given by Australian courts to the Australian government to adopt stringent rules regulating the packaging of cigarettes, the European Commission has expressed its intention to possibly follow suit.

The European Commission has never turned back since adopting the first tobacco-related piece of legislation in the 1980s. Along the years, various EU laws regulating the tobacco industry have been promulgated targeting different aspects, ranging from product regulation to advertising, protecting citizens from second-hand smoke to smoking prevention. Just last June, the Commission launched a new online tool called “iCoach” which contains a number of different stages designed to offer smokers practical advice on how to overcome nicotine addiction.

The EU’s 2001 directive required all member states to ensure that cigarette packs carry text health warnings, and in 2005 the Commission recommended a series of graphic images to illustrate health risks. The Commission has now announced its intention to go yet a step further. A draft revision to the 2001 Tobacco Products Directive should shortly be published with the objective of providing for more stringent rules on packaging and advertising as well as to extend legislation to cover newer tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes.

It seems that, at the moment, various options are being discussed, first and foremost, that of banning logos on cigarette packs and imposing on cigarette manufacturers the obligation to use only plain packaging. In this way, Europe would be following in Australia’s footsteps. The Australian government has recently obliged tobacco companies to sell cigarettes in buff packaging free of trademarks and logos but carry dominant pictorial health warnings. Printing larger graphic images on cigarette packs of the diseases linked to smoking also appears to be on the Commission’s list of options.

It goes to show that Europe’s antismoking legislation comes from the (unelected) European Commission. And it shows they’ve been at it for a long time.

The Commission strongly believes that plain packaging could prevent young people from getting hooked on tobacco since a cigarette brand can become a status symbol just like other products. On the other hand, industry is complaining that such an approach to packaging would infringe on intellectual property rights and boost sales of fake or illegally imported cigarettes.

Cigarette retailers are also claiming that if measures such as display bans, plain packaging, oversized health warnings and bans on ingredients were to be introduced, these could result in a loss of up to €20 billion in European tax revenue. Industry players have gone as far as to threaten the European Commission with legal action should it go down Australia’s route, asserting that the EU has no competence to regulate something which is not causing any distortions to the EU’s single market.

Interesting as such legal reasoning could be, statistics prove that Europe has the world’s highest rate of smokers aged 13 to 15. The Commission has always honoured its duty to maintain a strong tobacco-control policy to ensure a high level of public health for European citizens.

Why does it have to be a ‘duty’? Why can’t they leave people to make their own decisions about how they want to live their lives?

On the other hand, one cannot ignore the serious occupational, economic and fiscal repercussions that a too harsh tobacco regulatory regime could leave in its wake, particularly when faced with ever-rising unemployment figures and the current economic turmoil in Europe.

A balance between the two must therefore be sought to ensure that any legislative enactments would leave the desired positive effects for all and sundry.

At least the author of this article can see some of the repercussions of this ever-harsher regime, which is no doubt partly responsible for the deepening European recession/depression.

But there is no ‘balance’ that can be struck between the EU Tobacco Control and Europe’s smokers. It’s one or the other: it can’t be both.

Tobacco Control must be destroyed.

And it also goes to show how dictatorial the EU has become, that a handful of unelected and unaccountable people in the EU Commission can unilaterally determine how hundreds of millions of people must live their lives, and why the sooner this evil institution disintegrates, the better it will be for everyone in Europe.


About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to EU Tobacco Control

  1. Junican says:

    It seems to me that the whole scenario is becoming sillier and sillier. It is hard to find words which can describe the EU anti-smoking drive in other terms than silliness.

    There is no point in arguing with silly people, no matter how aristocratic they may be. The only answer is to remove them.

    And yet…..

    When we had the common market, standards of traded goods were raised to a level acceptable to the whole market. For example, washing machines, constructed in Germany or Poland or Spain had to be built with a given standard of reliability. Guarantees had to be for a minimum of two years.

    Somehow, these factual standards were corrupted and morphed into opinions – the opinions of The Holy Zealots. How on Earth did that morphing come about? How was it engineered? What trickery and connivance was involved? Who said what to whom and how was the financing organised? Why have our MPs fallen for this confidence trick, hook, line and sinker?

    I say again, there is no point (at the moment, at least) in bothering to argue with the Zealots. Another way must be found.

    Just as a thought:

    At Stony Stratford, a gathering of only a few people completely reversed the megalomania of Bartlett. Had that ‘meeting’ not occurred, Bartlett might well have got his way.

    It strikes me that there is a simple way for smokers to proceed, which MUST involve civil disobedience. We must light up in forbidden places in groups, and keep on doing so, despite the attacks of the press etc. We are FREE people and will not be denied.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Interestingly enough, DP reported yesterday that Bartlett has just been kicked out of office as a councillor in Stony Stratford..

    • nisakiman says:

      “It strikes me that there is a simple way for smokers to proceed, which MUST involve civil disobedience. We must light up in forbidden places in groups, and keep on doing so, despite the attacks of the press etc.”

      I’m starting to think that Junican is right. The biggest problem we have is that despite the fact that we can shoot down in flames most of the claims of TC (SHS, THS, all the dodgy statistics etc), we never get a platform from which to state what we know to be the truth.

      Embarking on a deliberate course of civil disobedience, particularly if it could be organised on a large enough scale and on a regular basis would be impossible for the (main stream) media to ignore. An articulate spokesman would then be able to get a few facts into the MSM. If it were to happen often enough, the stupidity of the ban might just become evident to enough people for a re-think to be proposed. And if some of the bigger lies of TC were exposed for what they are, the drive for further denormalisation could well be neutered.

      But to make any progress, we need to be heard. And we are not heard enough at the moment. These blogs are great, and I promote them to other smokers at every opportunity, but we are only a very small percentage of the smokers out there, and until we can find a louder voice, I fear the Antis will continue to dominate the agenda, and the ever compliant MSM will continue to be their willing propaganda mouthpiece.

      I’m not normally a great supporter of direct action, preferring a more cerebral approach, but on this issue the benefits (of a course of civil disobedience) are looking increasingly attractive. We have a few spokesmen in Simon Clark, Pat Nurse, Dave Atherton and Chris Snowdon, but they get precious little air-time, it’s usually on local radio, and they are predominantly facing biased and antagonistic presenters. It’s Media, perhaps, but ‘Main Stream’ it ain’t.

      We need the oxygen of publicity, even if it’s not particularly good publicity at the outset. Because as they say, “Any publicity is good publicity”. You only have to look at the IRA to see how even the worst publicity can be turned to your advantage eventually. Not the best analogy, I know, but by keeping themselves in the headlines, they did achieve their ends, despite the general revulsion of those whom they were seeking to persuade.

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    No Fear at all,its going to all come crashing down soon enuf………Theyve dug the hole so deep its inexcapable. Mind you these fukwits could care less about Trade treaties at all,they are actuall breaking international laws and dont give shit one bit…….

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Seems appropriate for the times ehh!

    Friday, 7 September 2012
    Lies, damned lies and public health
    It beats me why those promoting public health campaigns feel the need to (how do I put this) make stuff up.

    I understand that some people have a nannying, controlling, interfering world view. They’re brought up to believe it OK to go around telling other people that their choices are wrong. It’s a world view I hate but why do its adherents feel the need to tell massive porkies all the time?

    Don’t believe me? Here are a couple of recent examples:

    The rest of the story is that the European Respiratory Society is lying to the public. The Society claims that electronic cigarettes were developed by the tobacco industry. This is false. The tobacco industry played no role in the creation of electronic cigarettes and for the past four years, has had no involvement at all in the electronic cigarette industry. It was only recently, when Lorillard acquired Blu cigs, that the tobacco industry entered the electronic cigarette market. The claim that electronic cigarettes were developed by the tobacco industry is an outright lie.

    And from the same set of public health campaigners and even worse lie:

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      It ties the rest of this story in quite well!

      Rockefeller also created the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Lung Association in this eugenics framework)

      Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid history. The three antismoking crusades of the last century have been eugenics-driven. In eugenics, health is erroneously reduced to an entirely biological phenomenon and where a self-installed elite attempt to engineer/breed a “better” human herd. In addition to a genetic aspect, eugenics views tobacco and alcohol as racial poisons needing to be eradicated (negative eugenics). Antismoking was rife in early-1900s USA. Smoking and tobacco sales were banned in quite a number of American states.….
      Dillow (1981) notes that the bulk of antismoking claims were fraudulent and inflammatory. Dillow fails to note that the antismoking crusade of the early-1900s USA was eugenics-driven: Eugenics was mainstream in the USA at this time. At the turn of the last century, eugenics was mainstream in the USA, the UK, some European countries, and a number of Scandinavian countries. The USA appears to be the most prominent. The mega-wealthy in the USA (e.g., Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Kellogg) were supporters and funders of eugenics (and antismoking, anti-alcohol) – and still are. Rockefeller and Ford were also prominent supporters of Nazi eugenics. (Rockefeller also created the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Lung Association in this eugenics framework). Rockefeller and Ford had trade agreements with the Nazis through the 1930s

    • Margo says:

      I don’t think it is a stretch. I think it’s all horribly believable.

    • Messalina says:

      Interesting article. Yes it ties in with Tobacco Control quite well.

  4. Maybe this has already been mentioned/discussed. But, if cigarettes are in plyin packages, no logos. How the HEL does the shop keeper know which are which when someone asks for 20 Marlboro?

    Is it just close your eyes and try your luck, or what?

    • Mr A says:

      Indeed, this will be a real problem. I’ve recently switched to a “super-light” cigarette (Mayfairs – 1mg tar; 0.1 mg nicotine). These can be a pain to buy as they are actually just called “MAYFAIR”, just like the full strength version and the lighter version. This is obviously because of, yawn, anti-interference as they claim that saying a cigarette is “light” is misleading as all fags are the harbingers of death.

      So as all three packets are just called “Mayfair”, what I have to do now is say, “Mayfair Super Light – the ones in the whitish packet.” Given the general intelligence of most British shop workers this works around 90% of the time, although difficulties are (of course!) compounded by the anti-inspired shutters on the display. If they all go olive green, I can’t see how I’ll be able to distinguish them….. They won’t be able to rename the packets “Mayfair”, “Mayfair Light”, “Mayfair Super Light” and they won’t be able to use colour to distinguish them, either. The only thing to do would be to call them the catchy “Mayfair 10” or “Mayfair 7” or “Mayfair 1” or something, based on their strength. Not exactly catchy but I can’t see how the antis can complain as they are based on actual levels of tar or whatever in the fag.

      Still, these people are a bunch of irritating bastards, aren’t they? Does life REALLY have to be this annoying?

  5. c777 says:

    The EU is toast ,it can now follow no other course than its demise.
    Draghi has merely bought time for the pygmies in Brussels to try to go for full political and fiscal union.
    They will fail.
    However by doing this they have in fact created the situation whereby the collapse will be worse.
    The poster child of globalism ,the EU will crumble taking down all these contemptible “fonctionnaires” with it, the bonus is the bloated public health apparatus is part of that ,good bloody riddance to bad rubbish.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    The EU seems to be like this history teacher we had in 8th grade. He was 84 years old and still teaching. He was Incoherent,One tracked mind on only his lesson Topic,He always held a pointer as he moved about and when we would throw paper balls and hit him in the head he never lost a word nor even noticed he had been hit multiple times. Then a few kids lit up a few smokes and even this didnt make him take notice……The EU globalists seem to be just like this oh they know its collapsing they just keep on with the Bullshit like nothing else is happening but when the paper ball hits them they never notice just deflecting it with another failed approach that simply buys a few months or a year of time. Now when its over its going to be a complete collapse,I even have thoughts it may take down the entire UNITED NATIONS!

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    So now ASH is down to begging smokers to quit! Its getting appauling groveling,sniveling nazis.

    Smokers urged to quit for a month

    A national campaign urging smokers to quit for a month has been launched by the Government.

    Britain’s eight million smokers will be encouraged to kick the habit for 28 days from October 1 as part of Stoptober, the Department of Health announced.

    England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said it was the first time that the Government had launched a “mass quit attempt”.

    The initiative, backed by Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation, will involve television and radio adverts, a daily messaging service and roadshows around the country.

    Prof Davies said: “Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death in England, taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK every year.

    “This is the first time that we have launched a mass quit attempt like Stoptober and would encourage people who want to quit to get involved.”

    Those who stop smoking for 28 days are five times more likely to stay smoke-free, according to research.

    Jean King, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “Smoking accounts for one in four cancer deaths and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases so it’s vital that work continues to support smokers to quit. Breaking the addiction is difficult so new and innovative campaigns such as this are hugely important.”

    Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation, added: “Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your own health as well as those you love and live with.

    “About two thirds of smokers say they want to quit, so Stoptober provides a great opportunity to join thousands of people in the same situation and ditch the cigarettes for good.”

    • Messalina says:

      I tried opening the link, but the article was no longer available. But I’m sure it’s all the same old mantras “smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, blah blah blah!” They are getting pathetic, aren’t they.

  8. Out of interest, and slightly off-topic, I ended up reading a post by the sainted Simon Chapman. I attempted to reply, but, as my response was not entirely complimentary, my post was “modded” out.

    Want to see what I said…? Of course you do…!

    I’m sorry to disappoint you Simon, but I’ve actually never heard of you. I only stumbled upon this blog by accident.

    However, MJM does seem to have a point, you do come over as an incredibly arrogant, opinionated prat [ damn! I forgot “pompous”!]; when caught out with a quite blatant inference, you wriggled like a fish on a hook. Somehow, I doubt that is your intention, but you never know…

    While I cannot agree with a lot of the name-calling against you that you have quoted, those you mention do have a point; I have followed a few of their blogs, to see that they have been subjected to quite a lot of what can only be termed cyber-bullying. They all report smoking as a pleasure; none have openly pushed smoking on anyone else; all have defended their right to indulge in what is still a legal pastime; most will accept that they may be doing themselves some harm, though they all feel that the degree of harm has not been properly investigated. Why do we not have investigations as intensive as that about smoking harm with other legal pleasures? What are the levels of sports-related injuries and deaths? Jim Fixx, “the father of jogging”, died of a heart attack when he was just 49; could that have been caused by his fixation?

    They also have another point: once “evil” smoking has been eradicated, what next for the banners? Alcohol? Fast-foods? Sun-bathing? Anything that these very “bansturbators” disagree with? Perhaps arguing with them?

    Just to spike your guns about me obviously being in the pay of Big Tobacco, I am not, nor have ever been a smoker, and actually loathe the smell of the things; I was one of those who had to have a shower after going to the pub. That said, I was never comfortable with the ban – far too draconian, I felt, and would rather it had been for provision of smoking (or non-smoking) rooms. I certainly have no wish to stop others from seeking enjoyment from smoking (so long as they do not deny me MY right to fresh air).

    Radical Rodent

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Boy the ciggy smuggling thats been going on in America is hitting fever pitch in the news!

    Big Governments being Blamed FINALLY!

    HOLMBERG: ‘Butt-smuggling’ a direct result of government profiteering from tobacco

    RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Pssst! Hey, buddy, you want to make some big, quick money?
    Thousands a day, cash money?

    State, federal, and, in some cases, city taxes have pushed the price of smokes so high in some areas, it is literally more profitable to hijack a truck filled with cigarettes than an armored car.

    The problem is worst in New York, which has the highest cigarette taxes in the land. In New York City, that tax is more than $5 a pack. Smugglers rush there from Virginia, which has the lowest state taxes on cigarettes, just 30 cents.

    Now, they’re selling loose cigarettes – loosies, for 75 cents apiece on the black market.

    Even 10 years ago, well before bigger tax hikes, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms officials were saying traditional organized crime is involved in New York’s black market smokes, along with terrorist groups and street gangs. Numerous murders and shootings resulted.

    You know who profits the most off of tobacco, besides smugglers?

    That’s right, federal and state governments.

    Tobacco companies’ operating profits are less than 50 cents a pack.

    The feds get twice that, a whole dollar, thanks to a giant increase in 2009.

    And many states, like New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, make five to ten times as much in taxes than the manufacturers’ profit.

    That’s why it costs more than $11 bucks for a pack of smokes in Manhattan.

    And with a pack costing about $4 here, you can see the business opportunity for smugglers.

    America’s history and tobacco are joined at the hip. Gold brought waves of settlers here in the mid 1800s, but before that, it was the golden leaf.

    That’s why tobacco leaves adorn the state capitol.

    Alexander Hamilton was the first to push tobacco taxes shortly after we declared independence, but we didn’t get serious about it until the Civil War drained the Union’s economy.

    Tobacco taxes have soared in the past 20 years as smoking became one of the most reviled behaviors in the land.

    Not only has it been blamed for deadly diseases, tobacco has been wrongly been labeled a financial drain to our society.

    This is what happens when a legal product becomes so politically incorrect that we suspend the usual fair trade rules and allow governments to sin tax the hell out of it.

    But no matter how horrible we say tobacco is, we don’t have the guts to make it illegal because we’re right there in bed with the tobacco companies.

    And do you know who gets screwed the most? Poor people.

    They’re more likely to smoke.

    But let me give you another tip. State and federal revenuers will be coming after this new wave of butt-smugglers hard.

    These tax collectors represent the worst kind of tobacco addicts – state and federal governments. They start losing a lot of those smooth, rich taxes, they’re going to go into withdrawal and heads are going to roll.

    That’s why we have a whole big branch of federal law enforcement dedicated to busting cigarette and alcohol smugglers.

    My guess is; wannabe cigarette smugglers may be better off selling crack cocaine.

    • Rose says:

      Not quite the same but I expect the result may be similar

      A Student’s Guide to Tulip Mania

      “The Tulip Bulb Mania was the rapid rising in price of the tulip bulbs that had just been introduced into Holland.

      During the Tulip Bulb Mania people throughout Holland were speculating with tulip bulbs trying to make a profit. During the Tulip Bulb Mania the bulbs were traded on local market exchanges. People traded everything for these bulbs. They never intended to plant the bulbs. They were purchased with the intention of selling them again for a higher price. Property, animals and money were all traded for these bulbs. Some varieties of tulips could cost more than an Amsterdam house at the time.

      Eventually the tulip market began to decline as some people began to liquidate their tulips bulbs and other tulip bulbs were introduced to the supply.
      Quickly after this, there was a panic in which everyone started realizing that tulips were not worth the prices, people were paying for them. In less than 6 weeks the tulip prices crashed by over 90%. When the mania was over, the price of tulips dropped from a high of $76,000 to less than one dollar.”

      A cigarette is some scraps of dry leaves from a plant whose main claim to fame is that it has the same plant chemical in it as some other commonly eaten plants,is wrapped in paper and put in a box.
      Easy to grow, it just isn’t worth the money.

  10. XX Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation,XX


    All that money and the best they could get was some tart of a nurse to take five minutes fom her tea break to act as a spokesman?

  11. Messalina says:

    Irritating bastards, aren’t they. They’re the ones with the ‘addiction’ problem. They just can’t stop leaving people alone! I’ve commented on that article in the Times of Malta- I don’t know if they’ll print it – still awaiting moderation. I agree – Tobacco Control must be stopped. They’re a drain on the economy, they steal taxpayers money and produce nothing of any value.

  12. XX They just can’t stop leaving people alone! XX

    I presume you mean can’t stop NOT leaving people alone?

    But what you say about their addiction is true. ANYONE who bothers their arses so much about other peoples “addictions”,whether it be drink drugs or computer games, MUST have either a serious problem of their own they are trying to control, or PERCEIVE they have, or could have, such.

    • Barry Homan says:

      “The little man whose business isn’t worth minding takes great comfort in minding the business of others”

      A good quote, I don’t know who coined it.

      “Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn this, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky”

      That’s from Mark Twain.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mark Twain said it right over a hundred years ago:

        “The Moral Statistician.”
        Originally published in Sketches, Old and New, 1893

        “I don’t want any of your statistics; I took your whole batch and lit my pipe with it.

        I hate your kind of people. You are always ciphering out how much a man’s health is injured, and how much his intellect is impaired, and how many pitiful dollars and cents he wastes in the course of ninety-two years’ indulgence in the fatal practice of smoking; and in the equally fatal practice of drinking coffee; and in playing billiards occasionally; and in taking a glass of wine at dinner, etc. etc. And you are always figuring out how many women have been burned to death because of the dangerous fashion of wearing expansive hoops, etc. etc. You never see more than one side of the question.

        You are blind to the fact that most old men in America smoke and drink coffee, although, according to your theory, they ought to have died young; and that hearty old Englishmen drink wine and survive it, and portly old Dutchmen both drink and smoke freely, and yet grow older and fatter all the time. And you never try to find out how much solid comfort, relaxation, and enjoyment a man derives from smoking in the course of a lifetime (which is worth ten times the money he would save by letting it alone), nor the appalling aggregate of happiness lost in a lifetime by your kind of people from not smoking. Of course you can save money by denying yourself all those little vicious enjoyments for fifty years; but then what can you do with it? What use can you put it to? Money can’t save your infinitesimal soul. All the use that money can be put to is to purchase comfort and enjoyment in this life; therefore, as you are an enemy to comfort and enjoyment where is the use of accumulating cash?

        It won’t do for you to say that you can use it to better purpose in furnishing a good table, and in charities, and in supporting tract societies, because you know yourself that you people who have no petty vices are never known to give away a cent, and that you stint yourselves so in the matter of food that you are always feeble and hungry. And you never dare to laugh in the daytime for fear some poor wretch, seeing you in a good humor, will try to borrow a dollar of you; and in church you are always down on your knees, with your ears buried in the cushion, when the contribution-box comes around; and you never give the revenue officers a full statement of your income.

        Now you know all these things yourself, don’t you? Very well, then, what is the use of your stringing out your miserable lives to a lean and withered old age? What is the use of your saving money that is so utterly worthless to you? In a word, why don’t you go off somewhere and die, and not be always trying to seduce people into becoming as ornery and unlovable as you are yourselves, by your villainous “moral statistics”?”

        Also, Benjamin Franklin said,
        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  13. I’ve just compared a recent UK tobacco pouch with the German one I received from my brother yesterday. There are no graphic pictures on the German packets ever. But what I compared was the text warning. The UK warning was in 36 point. The German in 14 point. The German packet was, moreover, a 200g bumper packet. Very odd.

  14. dieta says:

    We ask Europe and our institutional representatives to abandon these extreme measures and promote prevention and information on healthy life styles, and not to treat, on the one hand, tobacconists like criminals and, on the other hand, citizens as if they were not in full possession of their faculties. In this respect, we believe it is essential to avoid measures that would dramatically impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of retailers, their employees and families across the EU.

  15. Thomas Nustad says:

    I heard on the radio that 3 anti-tobaco organizations had been broken in to and been stolen their computers. Also that one leading person on the EU commisson had been killed. After this breif radio news brodcast I heard no more of it. I tried to google it but nothing. Is there any truth to this? Does anybody know what happened?

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’ve heard that several antismoking organisations organisations’ offices were broken into, and computers stolen. In Brussels, I believe. That was after an EU commissioner – John Dalli – had been fired by Manuel Barroso. I don’t believe any commissioners were killed. It sounds like you’ve been hearing a slightly garbled report.

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