Thursday

25th May 2017

Tobacco giant initiates EU court challenge

  • Around 700,000 people die from smoking-related illnesses in the EU every year, says the European Commission (Photo: Kino Praxis)

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI) wants to challenge new EU rules on tobacco to see if it can get the stricter labelling requirements changed.

The Marlboro manufacturer on Friday (27 June) said the EU’s new tobacco products directive “appears to ban truthful and non-misleading claims on the packaging of tobacco products”.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“PMI intends to seek review of whether this ban respects the fundamental rights of consumers to information about the products they are choosing,” it added.

The EU’s reformed directive says cigarette packages must have “smoking kills – quit now” and “tobacco smoke contains over 70 substances known to cause cancer” labels.

The new labels replace the current printing of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (TNCO) levels.

Tobacco consumption is said to kill up to 700,000 people every year in the EU and is the EU’s single largest avoidable health risk.

Launched in May, the new EU directive seeks to reduce the number of smokers by further restricting tobacco use, flavourings, and adverts.

It imposes a four-year phase-out on menthols and sets a maximum nicotine concentration level for e-cigarettes, among other rules.

The Swiss-based multinational also has other grievances with the new EU tobacco law.

It says the directive will disrupt the internal market when it comes to tobacco, provoke the illegal trade of menthol cigarettes, and give the European Commission too many discretionary powers.

“The directive includes a mix of product bans, mandates, and delegations of authority that raise serious questions under the EU Treaties about consumer choice, the free movement of goods, and competition,” said PMI in a statement.

PMI filed the case in England because its courts are a “fast and efficient forum for private litigants” when it comes to cases in the lead up to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

A judicial review on EU laws must first be held at the national level before it can be referred to the Luxembourg court.

PMI senior vice president Marc Firestone noted the multinational agrees to strict regulation on tobacco but that the latest EU law needs to “honour the EU treaties”.

The judicial review could take up to three years, says the company.

MEPs restrict child-friendly tobacco products

New EU-wide rules to curb smoking are likely over the summer, as MEPs backed a bill to restrict tobacco flavourings, adverts, and the sale of electronic cigarettes.

Parents of EU children win right to stay

Countries cannot automatically refuse residence to parents of EU children simply because the other parent could care for the minor, the EU's top court ruled on Wednesday.

News in Brief

  1. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  2. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  3. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  4. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  5. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  6. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls
  7. France to host Russian president
  8. Switzerland votes against nuclear power

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms

Latest News

  1. Trump expected to make Nato pledge
  2. Car-sharing's promise of clean cities
  3. Openness over Brexit is 'political play', says EU ombudsman
  4. Le Pen's EU group in fresh spending scandal
  5. New EU right to data portability to cause headaches
  6. Cyber threats are inevitable, paralyzing impact is not
  7. Transparency complaints keep EU Ombudsman busy
  8. EU sets out criteria for relocating UK agencies