In the face of mass-lobbying by the tobacco industry Greens in the European Parliament are set to vote in favour of protecting people’s health by increasing the regulation of smoking.
Keith Taylor, the Green Party MEP for the South East, is backing Cancer Research UK in calling for strong regulation of tobacco products.
The European Parliament will vote next week on the Tobacco Products Directive. Proposals supported by Mr Taylor include increasing the size of health warnings on tobacco products and banning flavoured cigarettes.
Mr Taylor said:
Next week I’ll be joining my fellow Greens in the European Parliament in taking decisive action to protect people’s health.In the UK 80% of smokers start by the age of 19 and more than 207,000 children, some as young as 11-years-old, start smoking.
I’ll be voting to protect young people from products aimed at enticing them to begin smoking.
The tobacco companies lobbying against this piece of legislation are shamelessly trying to protect their profits by blocking new rules that will prolong the lives of thousands of people.
We have a duty to protect the most vulnerable - our children in the UK and right across Europe - from the dangers of tobacco, which causes debilitating disease, costs economies millions in healthcare and lost labour, and continues to kill 100,000 people in the UK alone every year. 86% of lung cancers are a result of tobacco use.
Mr Taylor went on to say:
It’s no surprise that a quick look into the people behind pro-smoking campaigns shows that they are funded by the tobacco industry. ‘No, Thank EU’ for example is a front for the shadowy lobbying firm ‘Forest’ which is mostly funded by the tobacco industry.
I hope that MEPs from the other political parties follow Greens in rejecting the desperate crowing of the tobacco lobby by voting for increased regulation of this industry that profits from death.