JTI: 'Hasty' Decisions on the Revised EU Tobacco Products Directive Will Only Lead to Ineffective Legislation

JTI: 'Hasty' Decisions on the Revised EU Tobacco Products Directive Will Only
                       Lead to Ineffective Legislation

  PR Newswire

  BRUSSELS, December 18, 2013

BRUSSELS, December 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

      Numerous Measures will be Costly for Member States and Businesses

JTI (Japan Tobacco International) today commented on the agreement reached
between the European Commission, Parliament and Council on the proposal for a
revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

 (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130528/617491 )

" The TPD has been negotiated hastily ,  pushed by political agendas ,  with
little consideration given to the effectiveness of the numerous measures and
the cost entailed for EU  Member  States  and businesses. Policies that are
not supported by strong evidence and that do not consider market dynamics are
bound to fail  -  they do not deliver any public health benefits, " said Ben
Townsend, JTI's Head of EU Affairs.

Many of the measures of the revised TPD are disproportionate and are a threat
to the internal market from an innovation, competition, consumer choice and
cross-border trade standpoint. Thousands of businesses - wholesalers,
retailers, packaging suppliers to name but a few - will need additional time
to absorb these radical changes.

Oversizing health warnings to 65% with pictures positioned at the top of the
pack and standardizing the pack shape and size (minimum of 20 cigarettes per
pack and 30 grams for roll-your-own tobacco) will not work, as people already
understand the health risks associated with smoking. Rather, these
restrictions will confuse retailers and consumers, making it difficult for
them to distinguish brands.

It will also be much easier for counterfeiters to produce and sell cheap
cigarettes that are not regulated, not tested, and not taxed. " The more
complex and innovative the packaging is ,  the more difficult it is to
counterfeit. Simply put ,  these restrictions will give counterfeiters a
blueprint on how to fake a pack, " added Mr. Townsend.

Like many other measures, the proposal to ban entire product categories such
as menthol cigarettes is not based on any sound evidence. If consumers are
unable to find their preferred products through legal channels, smugglers will
make sure they are available from the boot of their car.

As a consequence, the TPD will threaten jobs, investment and much needed
revenue in EU Member States. " While the legitimate tobacco sector directly
and indirectly employs around 1.5 million ^[ ^1]   people across the EU , 
the illegal trade in tobacco is already costing EU countries around EUR 12.5
billion ^[ ^2]   a year. This is what is at stake, " concluded Mr. Townsend.

Objections to the TPD have been raised multiple times by EU Member States,
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and a number of important Parliament
committees, but it appears their concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Many of
the measures still need to be carefully considered by EU decision-makers
before the Parliament and Council come to vote for the final time on the TPD
in the New Year.

JTI, a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies, is a leading
international tobacco manufacturer. It markets world-renowned brands such as
Camel, Winston and Mevius (Mild Seven). Other global brands include Benson &
Hedges, Silk Cut, Sobranie, Glamour and LD. With headquarters in Geneva,
Switzerland, and about 27,000 employees worldwide, JTI has operations in more
than 120 countries. Its core revenue in the fiscal year ended December 31,
2012, was USD 11.8 billion. For more information, visit http://www.jti.com

For further information ,  please contact: Ben Townsend JTI EU Affairs Office
Tel: +32-2-626-24-75 e-mail: ben.townsend@jti.com

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1. Nomisma report June 2012

2. Project Star report, KPMG: 16 April 2013