Luxembourg ramps up efforts to stub out smoking
(SB/JB) Yellow teeth, black smokers' lung and rotting feet. By the end of the year anyone who buys cigarettes in Luxembourg will be faced with these graphic images showing the effects of smoking on the body.
Under a compulsory EU directive which came into force in May, 65 percent of the front and back of packaging for cigarettes should contain pictoral warnings about the effects on health. This must also include the words “smoking kills” and the statement “Tobacco smoke contains more than 70 substances that are proven to be carcinogenic”.
The shocking packaging is particularly aimed at teenagers and young people to discourage them before they start the habit of smoking. Statistics show that seven out of ten smokers start before the age of 18 and nine out of ten before they hit 25.
At the same time Luxembourg's Health Ministry explained that each year around 700,000 people die within the EU from smoking. In Luxembourg, the number of deaths is around 1,000.
The directive also sets out to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and other aromas such as vanilla, cupcake, sweets and cotton candy.
New law bans vaping in public places
In Luxembourg, the packaging will become compulsory as part of a new tobacco draft law, which will go further than the directive.
The bill sets out to ban the sale of e-cigarettes from abroad and forbid the use of e-cigarettes in bars and restaurants.
Effectively e-cigarettes will be treated the same as any other tobacco product if the bill is voted in as it is. There are thought to be around 5,000 e-cigarette smokers in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg's Cancer Foundation welcomes the new legislation, adding that it was important the images changed from time to time to avoid consumers becoming immune to them. It said it hoped the images would make a difference to young people, who it believed smoked as a “status symbol”.
Tobacco manufacturers have criticised the directive. Luxembourg cigarette manufacturer Heintz van Landewyck said it brings “enormous logistical challenges”.