Enlarged health warnings on cigarette packets are in the offing after yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament. If the proposal is subsequently ratified by EU ministers, at least 35% of the front of cigarette packs and 45% of the back must be devoted to health warnings.

MEPs also voted to ban use of the terms “light” and “low tar” on-pack and in promotional descriptions of cigarettes, although they narrowly rejected a motion to force manufacturers to include Canadian-style photographs on packs showing the adverse health effects of smoking – blackened lungs and rotting teeth, for example.

The votes are not binding until agreed by the EU Council of Ministers.

Health commissioner David Byrne, who steered the original proposals, said he was encouraged by Parliament's "strong support".

News source: Financial Times