Making a Difference in Cancer Prevention and Control
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Convincing international research findings on the effect of generic cigarette packs
The Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and the Belgian Foundation against Cancer call for the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco products in the revision of the 2001 EU Tobacco Products Directive
Six studies in three EU countries conclude that plain cigarette packaging is less attractive, reduce the promotional appeal of the packs and enhances the visibility of the health warnings.
Tobacco Products Directive under review
The 2001 EU Tobacco Products Directive is under review. This Directive regulates the content and labeling of tobacco products in the EU. The European Commission is exploring the merits of introducing plain packaging as part of the revision of the Directive. Last year already the Australian government decided to introduce legislation to make plain packaging mandatory on all tobacco products as of 2012.
What is plain packaging?
Plain packaging includes the removal of all attractive promotional aspects on tobacco product packaging. Except for the brand name (which would be presented in a standardized way), all other trademarks, logos, color schemes and graphics would be prohibited. The package itself would be required to be plain colored and to display only information (such as health warnings) required by law.
The impact of plain packaging
To find out, the Belgian Foundation against Cancer recently commissioned qualitative research on the opinions and attitudes of young people towards plain packaging in
These six research projects, conducted by university teams in three EU countries using different methodologies with young and adult people, smokers and non-smokers, all came to the same convincing findings:
Therefore, the researchers of the three universities conclude that plain packaging is very likely to influence the intentional behaviour to prevent or stop smoking.
The call of for plain tobacco product packaging at EU level
Tobacco labelling is a EU competence. Both the Belgian Foundation against Cancer and the Association of European Cancer Leagues call for the introduction of plain packaging as part of the revision of the EU Tobacco Products Directive. “It is unacceptable that a carcinogenic product, such as tobacco, still is sold in such an appealing package”, says
The Belgian Foundation against Cancer unites the forces in the battle against cancer. The Foundation is active in entire
The Foundation finances scientific research in
The income of the Foundation is mainly provided by gifts and legacies from individuals. In 2009 the Foundation had an income of 20.6 million euros. We spent 5.5 million on funding for scientific research, over 3.6 million on social and material aid and 3.7 million on information and health promotion.
The Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation representing national and regional cancer leagues in the wider
The major fields of activity of member cancer leagues include cancer prevention, public information, professional education and assistance, as well as information services and rehabilitation for patients and their families and relatives, participation in, and support for, cancer research.
ECL is the permanent partner of the European Conference on Tobacco or Health (ECToH - www.ectoh.org), with the next ECToH taking place 27-30 March 2011 in Amsterdam.
Fact Sheets and presentations from the Press Conference 12 January 2011: