Block, Amend, Delay: Tobacco Industry Efforts to Influence the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) (2009)

Authors: Sema Mandal et al.


In 1996, discussion began in Brussels on the need for further tobacco control measures. Following extensive consultation, in November 1999 the European Commission proposed a new Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). The proposal would strengthen existing European legislation on cigarette yields and product labelling by lowering limits for tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide yields and by enlarging warning labels. It also sought to introduce stringent ingredients disclosure provisions and a ban on misleading descriptors such as “light” and “mild”, and aimed to prohibit the export of noncompliant products outside the European Union (EU). The tobacco industry mounted an intense lobbying campaign in response and made at least five legal challenges against the directive. Despite such efforts the directive was enacted successfully in 2001. This study seeks to identify and analyse tobacco sector responses to the directive and discuss the implications for future legislation within the EU and beyond. Such an analysis is particularly timely given the current review of the directive and
emerging debates around plain packaging.

Read more: University of Bath – Tobacco Control Research Group (TCRG)