HEALTH : TOBACCONISTS ANGRY ABOUT PLAIN PACKAGING.

 
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Thousands of tobacconist in Austria, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Poland protested, on 6 September, against the potential introduction in Europe of plain cigarette packages. They symbolically covered their stalls with white sheets to show what their shops would look like. Indeed, they fear that the Commission might propose, as part of the revision of Directive 2001/37/EC on tobacco products, cigarette packs of identical appearance - the name of the brand in small standardised font being the only difference. The Commission asked the public for its opinion in a 2010 consultation on the usefulness of plain packaging in raising citizens' awareness of the dangers of tobacco, discouraging them from starting or encouraging them more efficiently to quit.

According to the European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers (CEDT), the text, currently in an interservice consultation and likely to be published in October, lays down that the cigarettes should all have the same shape, design, wrapping and taste, and that packs should be hidden from consumers. The CEDT finds these measures "extreme," terming...

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