Europe probably won't tone down cigarette packaging rules

Europe probably won't tone down cigarette packaging rules

The European Court of Justice's attorney-general has indicated the new packaging legislation is not too strict. Several major cigarette manufacturers had filed a complaint, but have now been told there is nothing wrong with the legislation.

Freedom for EU member states

Cigarette packaging in the European Union now has to adhere to several new rules: health warnings have to fill 65 % of the package, while it has to contain at least 20 equally-sized cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes will also be outlawed in 2020.

 

Tobacco manufacturers like Philip Morris and British American Tobacco claimed these rules would promote black market trade and are in fact opposed to the European treaties. The fact that each European member state can issue even stricter legislation as it sees fit, is also something the tobacco companies do not appreciate. For example: cigarettes can only be sold in a neutral package in France, without any clear brand logo.

 

Attorney-general Juliane Kokott has now said she does not agree with the tobacco companies' complaints, revealing she does not think the rules are too strict. The attorney-general's advice is not legally binding for the European Court of Justice, but judges often follow it.

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