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MEP Tobacco Working Group reveal white paper on occasion of COP10 and MOP3

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Tobacco consumption represents a major public health challenge in Europe. Tobacco kills 700,000 people every year in Europe, including 15% of which are non-smokers, and is the leading cause of preventable cancer - writes Anne-Sophie Pelletier, MEP GUE/NGL

At the end of February 2024, in Strasbourg, a group of MEPs will present a white paper setting out concrete proposals for the revision of Directives 2011/64/EU on the taxation of excisable products including tobacco, and 2014/40/EU on tobacco products, known as the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). With the World Conference on Tobacco Control (COP10) and the 3rd session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP3) to the WHO Protocol taking place this week in Panama, the European Parliament's Parliamentary Working Group on Tobacco presents its recommendations.


The purpose of this White Paper on Tobacco is to report on the exchanges, findings, and warnings resulting from the hearings organized during 2023 by the Parliamentary Working Group on Tobacco (iWG TPD), in collaboration with Smoke-Free Partnership, the Alliance Against Tobacco and the University of Bath. The MEPs White Paper on Tobacco will be distributed in English and French to all current and future Members of the European Parliament, political groups, the Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), public health NGOs and the media.

Anne-Sophie Pelletier (The Left), co-responsible for this white paper, states: "While the EU has set itself the goal of a "tobacco-free generation" by 2040, the European Parliament, in the conclusions of its BECA report (named after the Special Committee "BEating CAncer"), underlined in February 2022 the urgent need to update our anti-tobacco policies. Here we are two years later, and the European Commission is dithering, constantly postponing revisions to these two tobacco directives on an obscure pretext.".

THE FIRST SEVEN RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE WHITE PAPER

  • Publication by the European Commission by summer 2024 of proposals to revise the Tobacco Tax Directive 2011/64/EU and the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU.
  • Creation of an independent Ethics Committee, responsible for ensuring compliance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control's implementing directives, notably on transparency, revolving doors, limiting contacts, and preferential treatment of the tobacco industry.
  • Strict application of Article 5.3 of the FCTC and obligation to register all tobacco product lobbying actors and related activities in the Transparency Register: manufacturers, federations and professional associations, retailers, contractors, etc.
  • Implementation of delivery quotas and independent traceability, as required by the FCTC Implementation Protocol.
  • Immediate termination of "cooperation agreements" signed between the EU and tobacco manufacturers that are still in force
  • Prohibition, within the European institutions and Member States, of all forms of political financing, advertising, sponsorship, patronage of sports, cultural, social, and health activities by the tobacco industry directly or indirectly
  • Opening an investigation into suspicions of conflicts of interest and influence peddling in the Dentsu / Jan Hoffman case

The full recommendations of the White Paper on Tobacco will be presented at the end of February 2024 to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

THE MEPS’ TOBACCO WORKING GROUP


The objective of the European Parliament's tobacco working group, an informal group created in 2020 by Christian BUSOI and then co-chaired by MEPs Michele RIVASI (Greens/EFA) and Anne-Sophie PELLETIER (The Left), is to raise awareness among European parliamentarians, NGOs, but also all citizens who are also taxpayers and voters, on tobacco-related issues to enable them to face tobacco lobby disinformation campaigns, lies and manipulation.

The public round tables of the MEPs’ tobacco working group have taken place in compliance with the commitments of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), in particular Article 5.3 of this international Treaty, signed and ratified since 2003 by 168 States, which aims to protect public policies from interference by the tobacco industry. The influence strategies of tobacco lobbies in European institutions, taxation, and traceability as instruments to fight against parallel trade, and the hidden environmental costs of tobacco are part of the thematic questions reviewed.

Contact Information:
Office of Anne-Sophie Pelletier, MEP GUE/NGL
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone, office of the European Parliament in Brussels: 0032 2 28 45364

Photo by haim charbit on Unsplash

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