Tobacco giants moot legal action

The Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association (TMA) is considering taking legal action following the European Union’s (EU) new Directive on Tobacco Control.

The directive, which was finalised during conciliation talks last week, will ban terms such as “light” and “ultra” from being used in tobacco branding.

It will also require bold health warnings taking up to 40 per cent of the area on the back and 30 per cent on the front of cigarette packs. Graphic pictures showing the dangers of smoking may also be used.

TMA director of public affairs John Carlisle says: “We shall look at it [legal action] carefully. I can say it is an option,” he says.

The directive also bans cigarettes containing more than 10mg of tar.

The EU’s Legal Affairs Committee has already warned that the directive could contravene the principle of the free flow of goods.

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