Tobacconists across Europe demonstrated today (6 September) against measures being considered by the European Commission to restrict cigarette packaging and display.
In a revision of the tobacco products directive scheduled to be proposed by the end of the year, the Commission is considering requiring packaging for cigarette packs to be blank, with no labels. They are also considering forbidding shop owners from openly displaying cigarettes in their stores. They would instead have to be stored under the counter.
The European Confederation of Tobacco Retailers (CEDT) said its members in Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Austria and Poland took part in the protest. Participants covered their shop displays with protest banners, sent letters to national governments and met with politicians. A press conference was organised next to the Polish president’s house.
“These demagogic and completely useless measures will cut tax revenues and turn out of house and home hundreds of thousands of people working in the retail sector, thus fuelling organised crime without bringing any positive effect for public health,” said Giovanni Risso, the confederation’s chairman.
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