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Tobacco Regulatory Authority

Volume 401: debated on Friday 14 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with other member states of the European Union about establishing a tobacco regulatory authority. [99283]

Ministers have had no formal discussions to date with other Member States of the European Union about establishing a new tobacco regulatory authority. However, European wide legislation to introduce tighter controls on tobacco products is currently entering into force in Member States.The Government believes that much of the work to further regulate tobacco is being addressed through continuing developments under the Directive on the Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco Products. This legislation was transposed into United Kingdom law in December 2002. It lays down maximum yields of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide for cigarettes; requires new larger and starker health warnings on tobacco products and bans the use of terms such as Now tar7 which suggest one tobacco product is less harmful than another.Article 11 of this Directive requires the European Commission to evaluate implementation of the Directive. This includes indicating where further review may be necessary in a wide range of tobacco regulatory areas, in the light of developments in scientific and technical knowledge. This could include evaluation of addictive effects of ingredients in tobacco products and methodologies for more realistically assessing the content and emissions of tobacco products. The Commission may also propose amendments to the current Directive. Full details of article 11 are contained in the Department of Health publication "Consultation on regulations implementing EU Directive 2001/37/EC— the Labelling Directive", copies of which are available in the Library.