The European Commission released today 19 December 2012 a “Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products” – TPD.
The European COPD Coalition welcomes the adoption of the long-awaited document and congratulates the Commission, and particularly Commissioners Borg, on delivering this important text to further protect citizens from the hazards of smoking while respecting internal market, trade and competiveness European legislations.(photo: Commissioner Borg presenting how a pack of cigarette could look like – Credit: @EU_Health, twitter)
ECC regrets however that when providing contextual reasons for acting on smoking and listing the diseases related to tobacco, respiratory conditions are not mentioned, apart from lung cancer.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease affects up to 10% of the European adult population and is due mainly to smoking. In the EU, it is the third most important chronic disease in terms of mortality, incidence, prevalence and costs, after cardio-vascular diseases and cancer. In some countries (e.g. the UK), respiratory diseases (including but not limited to COPD) are already the leading killer.
ECC hopes that the absence of the mention of COPD is an omission rather that an indication of misinterpretation of the importance of the disease on the part of the legislator.
As tobacco is the main risk factor of COPD in the EU, stringent European legislation of tobacco products is welcomed and necessary to tackle the issue and support the fight against COPD. ECC trusts that the legislative development due to take place in the European Parliament and Member States will allow to adequately address public health issues both smoking and COPD raise.
ECC will further comment the content of the Directive in the course of its legislative developments.