Yesterday’s EU directive proposals state that (if passed) tobacco companies would be forced to cover 75% of their cigarette boxes with health warnings (both text and image), as stated below:
The proposal foresees that combined warnings (picture plus text) of 75% should be displayed on both sides of the packages of tobacco products, presented in rotation.
Directive 2001/37/EC already makes text health warnings mandatory and picture warnings optional.
For further reading of the details click here.
As from the 1st of December tobacco companies in Australia are only allowed to put the name of the brand on the cigarette, the rest of the packaging is now covered 100% in an olive-green colour with health warnings and images highlighting the negative effects of smoking.
So while the EU proposal is definitely progressive unfortunately it doesn’t go as far as Australia.
A balance has to be struck in life to allow people to make their own choices, whether we agree with them or not but when those choices effect other people they must be limited. Smoking effects other people whether that’s breathing in other peoples smoke walking down the street or through increased taxes to pay for health care for these people.
I wouldn’t suggest banning cigarettes and smoking but everything must be done to discourage it as much as possible.