Cyprus MP Says Anti Smoking Law & New Cigarette Packaging is On the Way

The Ministry of Health of Cyprus is preparing a bill to revise the anti-smoking law in the country.

Smoking

According to Adamos Adamou, a member of the House health committee, the bill must be implemented by May 2016. Adamou also said that they are eagerly waiting to vote for the new legislation.

The new smoke-free law will ban nicotine products that have a featured aroma or have filters that create a smell and taste like fruits, chocolate, and menthol cigarettes. The law would apply to both cigarette papers and filters and will now allow any additional ingredients like caffeine or similar that give the idea that there are added health benefits like vitamins.

Why is the New Law Being Proposed in Cyprus and Public Reaction?
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Cyprus and is responsible for over 5,000 deaths per year.

The news that cigarette packaging will now have to include health warnings, exclude flavouring, and be banned from being used indoors, have overall been received positively by the Cypriot population. Most of the population believes it will encourage people to quit smoking quicker and many have praised their government for taking such action in respect of public health. However, there has been some criticism of the new laws, with some members of the population voicing negative feedback about how the rules will be unfair to people who choose to smoke.

A minority of the public has voiced that the changes being proposed have gone too far, and they believe that smokers should have the right to enjoy their habit wherever they please. The bar and restaurant industry are also concerned that the smoking ban could heavily affect businesses with smoke-free campaigns. However, other people argue that the government should do even more to decrease the level of people smoking in the country. Most of the Cypriot population supports the government’s decision to introduce tougher measures.

What are the Main Rules of the New Anti Smoking Law?
The Cypriot government has included a list of laws that will be making smoking habits of people in the country change. People who smoke will no longer be allowed to smoke in enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants. Cigarette packaging will now have to be plain, with no logos or branding allowed, and the only inclusion to be health awareness messaging. The advertising of tobacco products countrywide will be banned. The new law will also mean that cigarettes will only be available to purchase in packs of twenty and they must be in sealed packaging. There will be an increase in the number of no-smoking signs in public areas and smoke-free premises will be encouraged to take reasonable steps to incorporate the smoke-free law as soon as possible.

Cigars, cigarillos, and pipes are all exempted from the new law.

Will the new anti-smoking law be Successful in Reducing Smoking Rate?
Research studies that have been done on the effects of blank cigarette packaging show that it is successful in reducing the number of people who smoke and are new to smoking persons. The usage of certain wording on cigarette packets such as light, low-tar, mild, ultra-light, organic, natural, without flavours, without additives, or other terms could be responsible for misleading consumers, especially younger members of the population.

Tobacco products and cigarette packaging have also been accused of misleading customers by promoting a wide variety of additional benefits to smoking like increasing sex appeal, social life enhancement, improving social status, weight loss, improving masculinity, and more.

The government has stated that the new legislation will mean that cigarette packaging and labelling can only show the latest scientific development information and nothing else.

Cigarette packaging has been accused of being misleading to customers and enhancing the harmful effects because the indication of the levels of emissions, nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide on packets made customers believe that certain brands were better for them than others.

The new law in Cyprus will extend the external display area on cigarette packaging to 65% of the total, compared to the original 30%. The extra space will be used to illustrate the danger of passive smoking and the health impact on those who smoke. In addition to this, information about the ingredients and substances contained in cigarettes will be displayed to encourage more people to stop smoking sooner.

Australia introduced similar smoke-free rules in 2012 and their statistics since have shown that there has been a decline in tobacco smokers with the change in packaging being the reason for the trend. The country implemented a plan for restricting tobacco usage over time, which made the rates of smokers reduce slowly. People quitting smoking in other countries, including Canada, Turkey, and other countries in Europe, that have introduced similar anti smoking law and legislation have also shown similar effects, particularly in young people.

Some studies have recently proved that unattractive cigarette packaging is effective in reducing the rates of smoking.

To read similar articles or to check out more packaging products and information please browse our website further.

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