Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tobacco control

I spoke today in a debate with Laurette Onkelinx, the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and also Public Health Minister, who will be leading on health for the new Belgian Presidency of the Council of Ministers over the next 6 months.

Specifically I wanted to know how she would be coordinating Novembers' Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on tobacco control and a protocol set to be adopted on illicit trade in tobacco products.

One of the most effective means of reducing tobacco consumption is using taxation to raise prices, but illicit trade undermines this policy, not to mention stimulating organised crime and reducing the public coffers!
What is being proposed is an effective tracking and tracing system on tobacco products so we can see where individual packs have come from, a ban on internet sales which serves no other purpose than to evade taxation, and also it's about time some of those EU Member States who have ridiculously low levels of taxation, agreed to increase the level, as they only serve to undermine other Member States' public health goals.

1 comment:

  1. Surely, the issue of MEPs smoking in the Parliament's bar, which was mentioned on the clip is a tiny consideration when compared to the EU's absurd mismatch of policies.

    While preaching against the use of tobacco it has subsidised the production of tobacco in several EU countries for decades.

    This is absurd.