Europe plans graphic new warnings on cigarette packets
THE European Commission is planning larger health warnings on cigarette packs and a ban on flavourings such as menthol.
The proposals stop short of forcing all cigarettes to be sold in plain packets carrying graphic health warnings, as required in Australia from the start of this month. But individual EU governments will be free to impose plain packaging if they so wish.
"The proposal foresees that combined warnings (picture plus text) of 75pc should be displayed on both sides of the packages of tobacco products," the draft legislation from the European Commission said.
"However, a member state may maintain more stringent national provisions... in areas covered by this directive, on grounds of overriding needs relating to the protection of public health," it added.
The proposals, due be published tomorrow, must be jointly approved by EU governments and the European Parliament before they can become law, in a process that could take up to two years.