BRUSSELS Dec 17 The European Union's executive
Commission will propose larger health warnings on cigarette
packs and a ban on flavourings such as menthol, a draft revision
of EU tobacco rules seen by Reuters on Monday showed.
The proposals stop short of forcing all cigarettes to be
sold in plain packets carrying graphic health warnings, as
required in Australia from the start of this month. But
individual EU governments will be free to impose plain packaging
if they so wish.
"The proposal foresees that combined warnings (picture plus
text) of 75 percent should be displayed on both sides of the
packages of tobacco products," the draft legislation from the
European Commission said.
"However, a member state may maintain more stringent
national provisions... in areas covered by this directive, on
grounds of overriding needs relating to the protection of public
health," it added.
The proposals, due be published on Wednesday, must be
jointly approved by EU governments and the European Parliament
before they can become law, in a process that could take up to