European Union Adds Teeth to Its Anti-Tobacco Legislation

A new European Union anti-tobacco directive presents some victories for health advocates but industry pressure has weakened the final text, say campaigners, reports John Maurice in the Lancet.  The numbers certainly make a strong case for a stronger directive. Every year, on average, 700 000 people in the EU die from tobacco-related causes. The main target of the new directive is young people. Among its provisions is a ban on flavoring of tobacco to give it the taste of, say, vanilla, chocolate, or menthol, and thereby to enhance its appeal to youngsters. Manufacturers must report in detail all additives they put into their tobacco products