Italy joins EU states objecting to Irish plan for plain cigarette packs

Ninth EU country to oppose proposals

Samples of standardised plain cigarette packaging. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Samples of standardised plain cigarette packaging. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Italy has objected to Ireland’s plain tobacco packaging proposals on the day of the deadline yesterday for European Union countries to lodge their concerns.

It is the ninth European Union country to object, joining Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. The nine countries voicing their concerns have a total population of 201.7million or 40 per cent of the total European Union population.

Ireland hopes to be the first EU member to introduce plain packaging legislation. The law would ban the use of logos on tobacco packaging.

Graphic warnings would be mandatory on all packaging and the use of terms such as “low tar” would also be banned.

Countries file so-called detailed opinions when they believe regulations in one country “may create obstacles to the free movement of goods, the freedom to provide services or the freedom of establishment of services operators within the internal market”.

The Department of Health has said it is “currently considering” all opinions lodged, and that it will respond to the European Commission in due course.