HEALTH : TOBACCO DIRECTIVE: PARLIAMENT VALIDATES COMPROMISE.

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The European Parliament supports a ban on menthol cigarettes and the placing of health warnings on the two main surfaces of cigarette packs. Meeting in plenary on 26 February in Strasbourg, MEPs gave the green light to the compromise worked out with the Council on the draft directive on tobacco products.aSome controversial paragraphs, such as those on e-cigarettes, were put to the vote separately, but in the end the whole compromise was accepted by a large majority (514 votes in favor and 66 against).

The text repeals Directive 2001/37/EC and sets minimum standards for the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products. It prohibits lipstick or perfume-style packs as well as those with fewer than 20 cigarettes. It also requires the placing of health warnings to cover 65% of the front and back of packs. The directive regulates more strictly the taste of tobacco products: "characterising" flavours in most...

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