Alyn_Smith_001DISAPPOINTMENT OVER EU PARLIAMENT TOBACCO VOTE

Alyn Smith has today expressed his disappointment at the European Parliament’s vote on the Tobacco Products Directive.

MEPs voted in favour of proposals to expand health warnings on packaging and to ban the sale of imitation tobacco products, but rejected key proposals to restrict the sale of slim and flavoured cigarettes and to introduce medical regulation for e-cigarettes, which would have seen their quality and content being properly regulated.

Reacting to the vote, Alyn said:-“Parliament has made the wrong call today.

“With 700,000 EU citizens dying every year from tobacco-related diseases, the proposal to ban slim and flavoured cigarettes would have made significant progress in reducing that figure. In rejecting these regulations the Parliament has passed up the opportunity to save lives.

“The rejection of proper medical regulation on e-cigarettes is particularly disappointing. The classification of e-cigarettes as pharmaceutical products would have allowed us to monitor their content whilst maintaining their widespread availability in shops and supermarkets for those who wish to use them as an anti-smoking aid. Claims that e-cigarettes were to be banned or made available only under prescription were irresponsible and completely untrue. Under consumer regulation, the public will now remain in the dark as to the long-term health impacts of these new products, and the tobacco industry will be free to pursue their agenda of making e-cigarettes a gateway to tobacco smoking.

“Although the amendment votes did not go our way, I lent my support to the overall package put forward by the Environment Committee which had much to admire on issues such as the regulation of additives and characterising flavours, and which passed by a large majority.  Despite the disappointing result on these specific regulations, I am nonetheless proud to have stood up to the intensive lobbying we received from the tobacco industry and to have voted in the interests of public health.

“We are doing tremendous work here in Scotland to curb the use of poisonous substances such as tobacco – not least through the Scottish Government’s commitment to press ahead with standardised packaging that is leading the way in Europe – and our position today only reaffirms our commitment to achieving a tobacco-free Scotland by the year 2034.”

5 COMMENTS

  1. Never mind Alyn! You can sleep tonight knowing that your obvious ignorance regarding the harm reduction potential of electronic cigarettes hasn’t forced those exercising their freedom of choice to use a safer alternative are back to smoking and the inherent health issues that would cause. Common sense prevailed today and a small part of my belief in democracy has been restored.

  2. So lets get into some of the misinformation presented here about electronic cigarettes and what the legislation says shall we Alyn.
    From Alyn –
    “The classification of e-cigarettes as pharmaceutical products would have allowed us to monitor their content whilst maintaining their widespread availability in shops and supermarkets for those who wish to use them as an anti-smoking aid.”

    Well they will be monitored for contents from the legislation –
    “manufacturers and importers of nicotine-containing products submit to
    the competent authorities a list of all ingredients contained in and emissions resulting from the use of the product, by brand name and type, including quantities thereof, as well as any changes. Member
    States shall then ensure the dissemination of this information on a website with due regard to the protection of trade secrets.
    Manufacturers and importers shall also report to the authorities about national sales volumes by brand name and type”

    That leads on to from Alyn –
    “Under consumer regulation, the public will now remain in the dark as to the long-term health impacts of these new products, and the tobacco industry will be free to pursue their agenda of making e-cigarettes a gateway to tobacco smoking”

    what the legislation says –
    “Member States shall monitor the development of the nicotine-containing
    products market, including any evidence of gateway use among young people and report their findings to the Commission.
    Based on the evidence submitted as well as scientific studies the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on nicotine- containing products five years after entry
    into force of this Directive. The report shall assess if amendments to this Directive or any further legislation are necessary”
    So essentially this also covers Alyn’s worry over evidence of how electronic cigarettes will perform as a quit aid to smoking – they expect scientific evidence.

    Also in the e cig section it covers the ban on sales to under 18’s, ban on cross border sales, ban on advertisements in line with tobacco products, a limit on the levels of nicotine, as well as labelling and safety information. Furthermore products wishing to make health claims will need a medical authorisation before they can do so.

    My suggestion would be for Alyn to actually read legislation he is voting on properly before making statements and report the complete facts.

  3. So something can’t be monitored if it’s not subject to medical authorisation? I must be dreaming that vacuum cleaners and washing machines are monitored, that food and drinks are monitored, and that specifically coffees and teas, which themselves contain a stimulant that has health consequences, like nicotine, are monitored.

  4. To anonymous.
    Alyn voted yes to amendments 71 and 170/1 which are opposing amendments. In essence he voted for medicalisation (71) which was voted on first and then voted for 170/1 afterwards.

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