March 21, 2017
by Forest EU

Tobacco Products Directive

Forest EU calls for a neutral review of the impact of TPD2. The EU should attempt no further legislation on tobacco before we know how this directive has worked.


The EU has imposed a number of restrictions on the sale and marketing of tobacco products. Forest EU doubts these impositions will be effective in improving public health. In fact they might have the opposite effect – by encouraging illegal, substandard tobacco (something implicitly acknowledged in the directive).

The European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU) came into force in May 2014 and became applicable in member states in May 2016.

It introduces a number of measures to restrict how tobacco is packaged, and also tries to control the growing cross border trade in tobacco, both illegal and counterfeit.

Forest EU recommends a cautious approach to such policy making and calls for an evidence-based review of the directive before any further measures are proposed. In particular, EU policy makers should consider the following points:

  • There is no evidence that mandatory changes to tobacco packaging makes a difference to smoking rates;
  • The measures designed to restrict trade in legal and illegal tobacco are an implicit recognition that over-regulation of the industry encourages counterfeiting and smuggling of tobacco, with all the harmful side effects this causes, including boosting organised crime and the availability of low quality products.

Forest EU calls for an evidence based and neutral review of the impact of these measures in due course, so that we can establish what impacts (including harmful effects on crime and public health) they have. The EU should attempt no further legislation on tobacco before we know how this directive has worked.

Forest EU will continue to represent the European consumer of tobacco with sensible, evidence-based advocacy. Policy formulation in this area must take the views of consumers into account.

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