Wednesday

24th Jan 2018

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”.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

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.

EU posted workers face hurdles

Negotiations among the EU institutions will start soon, but could be difficult on several issues - like the inclusion of the transport sector or the duration of a posting.

EU overcomes divisions on posted workers

After a 12-hour discussion, EU employment ministers struck a compromise to reform the rules on workers posted in another country. The principle of equal pay for equal work has been adopted but the transport sector will get special treatment.

Opinion

EU's 'old men' must pressure Poland on abortion rights

Despite fresh crackdowns on Poland's already restrictive abortion laws, EU commission president Juncker did not raise the issue with the new Polish PM Morawiecki - perhaps because it was an all-male event?

News in Brief

  1. Auditors criticise EU economic governance implementation
  2. Dutch environment group appeals air quality ruling
  3. Commission opens case into Polish railways state aid
  4. EU remove eight places from tax havens blacklist
  5. UK to keep forces in Germany over Russia fears
  6. Finnish presidential vote could go to second round
  7. Report: EU might pay Brexit residency fees for EU citizens
  8. Puigdemont free to travel around EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Free AlllianceNo Justice From the Spanish Supreme Court Ruling
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  3. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  5. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  7. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  9. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  10. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  11. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  12. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit

Latest News

  1. Berlusconi in Brussels on pre-election charm offensive
  2. ECJ should rule against Austrian online censorship lawsuit
  3. EU states loosen grip on tax havens
  4. Facebook promises privacy reboot ahead of new EU rules
  5. Europe is lacking tech leadership
  6. Spitzenkandidat system here to stay, MEPs warn capitals
  7. MEPs to keep 28 UK seats after Brexit
  8. Norway defends new Arctic oil drilling