MEP’s Concerns over Tobacco Lobbyists

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Ireland South MEP, County Tipperary’s Phil Prendergast has raised concerns over the presence of tobacco lobbyists in the European Parliment while a vote on the Tobacco Products Directive was being cast.

The directive is mostly focused on deterring younger generations from smoking.

Among the votes carried were the future banning of flavoured cigarettes, a ban on menthol cigarettes from 2022 and that a box of cigarettes would carry a health warning that would cover 65% of the packaging.

However, MEPs voted against proposals to ban slim cigarettes and the regulation of e-cigarettes

Deputy Prendergast criticised Conservative MEPs for voting against the banning of slim cigarettes. She also sounded a note of concern about the presence of tobacco lobbyists in the visitors’ gallery of the chamber who she said may have been recording the votes of individual MEPs.

This she said is concerning in so far as this information could be used to exert pressure on vulnerable MEPs to further what she termed as “the sinister aims of large multinational tobacco companies”