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EU to ban menthol and flavoured cigarettes

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have agreed to impose a new directive that prohibits the use of artificial flavours and menthol in tobacco products along with electronic cigarettes.

The secretary-general of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation (ASH Thailand), Dr Prakit Wathisathokkit, said governments of all 28 EU member countries would also be required to print warning images covering 65 per cent of total area of cigarette packs by 2016.

The EU governments are welcome to impose stricter measures on their local cigarette businesses, such as ordering that all cigarette packs be plain, or not carry any logo, images or trademarks, he added. Some 700,000 smokers die in EU countries each year. ASH Thailand once considered calling for a ban on the use of menthol in cigarettes but halted the plan after opposition by local and international tobacco companies. Prakit said menthol made smoking more popular because it eased irritation while being inviting to young smokers.


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