|Polish tobacco producers could be hit hard |
In December, the European Commission proposed that the EU ban flavored and slim cigarettes, a move which if implemented could have a major negative impact on the Polish tobacco industry and the government’s budget.
The Polish Chamber of Commerce (PIH) has warned that the directive could eliminate one-third of Poland’s tobacco market. As much as 40 percent of all menthol cigarettes in the EU are made in Poland.
The tobacco industry generates up to zł.20 billion annually in tax revenue for the government. The PIH has appealed to Prime Minister Donald Tusk not to sign the directive.
The European Commission is proposing a ban on all flavored and menthol cigarettes. It also proposes that all cigarettes made in the EU should be 7.5 mm in diameter or larger.
The proposal would also affect packaging. Under the proposed new rules, 75 percent of a cigarette pack’s surface would have to be covered with health warnings and graphic pictures of smoking-related ailments.
The current Tobacco Products Directive is over 10 years old, and the new one will bring tobacco laws up to date with current health studies, the EC says. It would regulate new products and developments, like electronic cigarettes and online sales.
If approved, proposal is expected to be adopted in 2014, and would come into effect from 2015.
From Warsaw Business Journal
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