Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

ESMO Joins Criticism of Decision to Postpone Publication of the Proposed Council Recommendation on Smoke-Free Environments

31 Jan 2024

The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), together with a number of health advocacy organisations, has published a statement condemning the European Commission’s decision to not bring forward the proposed Council recommendation on smoke-free environments. Tobacco consumption remains a leading cause of preventable illness and premature death, contributing towards many forms of cancer, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This consequently accounts for nearly 700,000 deaths in the EU and over 6 million worldwide each year, bringing a vast financial burden on national healthcare systems. 

The delay or inaction hints at the Commission’s close ties with the tobacco industry which has been recognised by Emily O’Reilly, the European ombudsman, who has accused the Commission of maladministration over its approach to engaging with tobacco lobbyists. Consequently, the ambitious goal of creating the Tobacco-Free Generation, set in the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP), simply won’t be met. In addition, both the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) and the Tobacco Taxation Directive (TTD) have been held up, and now inexplicably even a non-binding recommendation to Member States.

The TPD came into effect in May 2016 and brought new regulations on tobacco products and introduced a new framework for e-cigarettes to be regulated as consumer products. The TTD entered into force in 2011 and provides the structure and rates of excise duties on manufactured tobacco. In addition, it is also not clear whether any future proposals to revise EU legislative provisions on tobacco and related products will include a revision of the Tobacco Advertising Directive (TAD), into force since 2003.

According to the EBCP Roadmap, a legislative proposal from the Commission to revise the TTD was expected in 2022 and for the TPD in 2024. However, the Commission has scheduled an assessment of how the current laws function for the third quarter of 2024.

Further information on ESMO’s advocacy on tobacco control can be accessed here.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.