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On 5th August 2013, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Nessa Childers, an Irish national reprsenting the Non Attached group tabled a written parlimentary question on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and the Tobacco Products Directive

The question was as follow:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a long-term, irreversible lung and airways disease that affects up to 10% of Europeans(1); it is today the fifth leading cause of death worldwide and is expected to be the third by 2030.

COPD is mostly preventable, tobacco being the main risk factor: smoking is responsible for the disease in 80 to 90% of cases,(2) and the more people smoke the more they are at risk.

On 19 December 2012 the Commission adopted a proposal for revising the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), which is currently being examined by Parliament,.
In this context:

1. Has the Commission fully taken into consideration the abovementioned facts about the seriousness of COPD in preparing its impact assessment of the Tobacco Products Directive?

 2. After the adoption of the Tobacco Products Directive, does the Commission plan to include COPD-related health warnings when updating Annex I (list of text warnings) in line with scientific and technical progress?

 3. What further measures does the Commission intend to take in respect of the tobacco‐ related legislation in order to prevent further COPD cases?

The European Commission has 6 weeks to answer this question.

The question as posted on the European Parliament website.



Photo: MEP Nessa Childers, European Parliament

(1) EU Public Health Information System (Halbert et al., 2003, Interpreting COPD prevalence estimates: what is the true burden of disease? Chest, 2003; 123(5): 1684-92.Estimate — there is not enough epidemiological information on the matter.

(2)  Feenstra et al., 2001.