May 16, 2018
by Forest EU

One year on, no evidence that tougher EU rules on tobacco products are working say campaigners

“The regulations are excessive, even by the European Commission’s standards” says smokers’ lobby group Forest EU

BRUSSELS, 16 MAY 2018 – One year after its full implementation in EU member states, the smokers’ campaign group Forest EU says there is no evidence that the European Commission’s revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) has reduced smoking rates.

Measures included an immediate ban on packs containing fewer than 20 cigarettes, a ban on flavoured cigarettes (except menthol which will be banned in 2020) and severe restrictions on the ability of smokers to access e-cigarettes.

TPD2 also increased the size of health warnings to 65 per cent of the front and back of every pack of cigarettes, with additional warnings on the top of the pack.

Guillaume Périgois, director of Forest EU, said:

“The regulations are excessive, even by the European Commission’s standards. Smokers are being treated as second class citizens in a disgraceful attempt to denormalize both the product and their habit.

“Larger pictorial warnings are problematic since the Commission itself is now on record having called into question the proportionality of larger health warnings in delivering public health gains. If they are clearly visible, smaller warnings are just as effective as larger warnings in the eyes of the consumer.”

Calling for the Commission to explore alternative models of achieving public health gains that don’t ostracize smokers, he added:

“We’ve seen no evidence that the regulations have reduced smoking rates. The Commission now needs to look at new approaches for instance supporting Member States in the provision of education programmes or providing a proper framework in which smokers can explore the growing vaping sector.”



Guillaume Périgois

Director, Forest EU

+32 4 78 98 07 43

Forest EU is a lobby campaign informing smokers about issues that affect them in the European Union and engaging with stakeholders so the views of informed adults are taken into account within the EU’s decision-making process. Since 1979, Forest has been the leading voice in defending the rights of tobacco consumers and tolerant non-smokers. Forest EU doesn’t encourage smoking and doesn’t represent the tobacco industry. For more information, visit

Featured image: European Commission, 2014


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