EU takes Germany to court over tobacco ads

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2006, BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday said it was taking Germany to the European Court of Justice for failing to adopt a European Union ban on tobacco advertising into national law.

28 June 2006

BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday said it was taking Germany to the European Court of Justice for failing to adopt a European Union ban on tobacco advertising into national law.

The EU directive bans tobacco advertising in printed media, on radio and over the internet. It also prohibits tobacco sponsorship of cross-border events or activities, such as Formula One races.

It applies only to advertising and sponsorship with a cross-border dimension.

Advertising in cinemas and on billboards or using merchandising, for example ash trays or parasols, falls outside the scope of the law, although these can still be banned under national law.

Tobacco advertising on television has been banned in the EU since the early 1990s.

The EU rules, agreed in 2003, had to be transposed into national legislation by July 31, 2005.

In April 2006, the commission also sent "letters of formal notice" to the Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary and Spain for the incorrect adoption of the directive. The countries allow exemptions from the sponsorship ban, a core aspect of the legislation.

"Tobacco advertising and sponsorship glamorises tobacco and incites children and young adults to start smoking," European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou said.

"I am determined to hold all member states to account for their implementation of this key piece of EU legislation, and if this means referring the matter to the court, so be it," he said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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