Germany warned to bolster its anti-tobacco laws

1st February 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 February 2006, BRUSSELS — The European Commission on Wednesday warned Germany and Luxembourg to toughen up their anti-tobacco legislation in keeping with European Union rules introduced three years ago.

1 February 2006

BRUSSELS — The European Commission on Wednesday warned Germany and Luxembourg to toughen up their anti-tobacco legislation in keeping with European Union rules introduced three years ago.

The Commission — the EU's executive arm — said it was speeding up legal action against the two countries which had still not banned tobacco companies from advertising in newspapers, radio and the Internet and from sponsoring cross-border events.

A first warning on the issue was sent to both Berlin and Luxembourg in October 2005, after both overshot an end of July deadline for introducing new laws.

"The Commission must ensure that EU law is upheld," said EU consumer affairs chief Markos Kyprianou, adding that the new legislation was an essential element in the fight against smoking.

"I am sure that all governments realise that glamorising smoking through fancy advertising can have devastating effects," Kyprianou said.

The EU directive, introduced in 2003, bans tobacco advertising in the print media, on radio and over the Internet. It also prohibits tobacco sponsorship of cross-border events or activities.

Advertising in cinemas and on billboards or on merchandise is not covered but can still be banned by national laws.

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

The Commission said Germany and Luxembourg had two months to comply with its demands or face legal action in the European Court of Justice.

DPA

Subject: German news

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