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Tobacco

Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Prime Minister if she will raise at the next meeting of the European Council the sums being expended by the European Economic Community on the growth and export of high-tar tobacco.

The Government are concerned at the grave consequences on health of smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco both in Europe and in the Third world.We have long been critical of the Community's CAP tobacco regime. We have consistently argued that support for this crop should be reduced. We were successful in securing the introduction in 1988 of measures to reduce expenditure and discourage the production of the less-marketable and higher-tar varieties, for example through the stabiliser mechanism. Further reductions in support for certain of the less marketable varieties were agreed in this year's price-fixing negotiations.Our objective is less production, reduced intervention and less subsidised export of the higher-tar varieties. We shall take every opportunity to continue to pursue this policy in future negotiations.