EU countries are not doing enough to implement tobacco control policies, according to the Irish MEP Nessa Childers.
Writing in The Parliament magazine, Childers said the latest available results of the tobacco control scale for 2016, in which Luk Joossens and Martin Raw had ranked 35 European countries on the basis of tobacco-control-policy implementation, had shown that the majority had received a negative mark. This was also the case in respect of EU member states only, ‘albeit by a narrower margin’.
In the face of ‘scandal-prone lobby onslaughts and court challenges to tobacco advertising legislation and the tobacco products directive’, policy and implementation of measures on the ground remained inadequate, as the tobacco control scale rankings indicated.
‘In general terms, inadequacies in implementation of the provisions that survived the tobacco industry’s lobby onslaught, at national and European level, stem from paltry budget allocations to tobacco control policy,’ Childers said. ‘These jar with the overall costs and burden of this epidemic to society.
‘EU countries spend less than one euro per capita annually on tobacco control, with some countries even making cuts.’
Later in her piece, Childers said that the EU Commission deserved praise for its role in securing EU ratification of the protocol to eliminate the illegal trade in tobacco products.
‘Indeed, and in line with the tobacco products directive, the fight against smuggling and counterfeiting is a serious matter,’ she said. ‘It must remain in the hands of adequately resourced public bodies, in control of tracking and tracing. It should not subcontract poachers for game-keeping.
‘We need to devote greater resources to enforcing tobacco control, expanding the use of plain packaging, steeper taxation, display bans, and proper respect for article 5.3 of the framework convention on tobacco control to shut big tobacco out of public health policymaking.’
Childers’ piece is at: https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/tobacco-epidemic-weighing-heavily-europe?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily%20Parliament%20Magazine%20Round-Up&utm_content=Daily%20Parliament%20Magazine%20Round-Up+CID_41fa2833e488946457e60f5ec3d5bb77&utm_source=Email%20newsletters&utm_term=Tobacco%20epidemic%20weighing%20heavily%20on%20Europe