The European Commission has registered a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to “achieve a tobacco-free environment and the first European tobacco-free generation by 2030.”
The ECI urges the Commission to propose legislation banning the sale of nicotine products to people born in or after 2010 and to act against the environmental risks presented by tobacco use.
The ECI also calls on measures to reduce cigarette litter, extend outdoor vaping restrictions and to eliminate tobacco advertising.
By registering the ECI, the Commission acknowledges that it is legally admissible without expressing a view on the substance of the initiative.
The organizers of the ECI now have six month start collecting signatures. If the initiative receives at least 1 million statements of support from citizens in at least seven EU member states within one year, the Commission will have to respond.
The Commission can at that point take the request forward or reject it. If it rejects the ECI, the Commission will have to explain its reasoning.
Introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007, the ECI initiative was created to increase direct democracy by empowering EU citizens to participate directly in the development of the union’s policies.
Since the beginning of the ECI, the Commission has received at least 118 requests to launch ECI, 91 of which were admissible and thus qualified to be registered.