Winning the war

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ANTI-SMOKING campaigners have welcomed tough new EU laws which demand more of a crackdown on smoking.

Officials at Fresh welcomed the European Parliament’s strengthening of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

Key elements of it include larger pictorial health warnings on every cigarette pack, a ban on “characterising flavours” in cigarettes, such as fruit or chocolate, from 2016, with menthol banned from 2022, and a regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes.

Fresh director Ailsa Rutter said: “The directive is a massive opportunity to reduce the harm caused by tobacco and remove some of the temptations employed by cigarette companies to keep smokers smoking and hook new customers.

“Most smokers get addicted as children, and one in two long term smokers will die early as a result.”

She added: “Some of the debate in the directive focused on electronic cigarettes. We recognize the role these could play in reducing the harm to smokers who are trying to quit or cut down.

“However, nicotine is still a highly addictive substance. Sensible regulation of electronic cigarettes will help ensure long term safeguards on quality and help us monitor any long term health issues.”