Minister Risikko conveyed a letter regarding plain packaging of tobacco products to EU Commissioner for Health

12.10.2009 14.35
News item N5-55890
The Finnish Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko presented in the context of the extra Employment, Social Policy and Consumer Affairs Council on Monday a letter dealing with plain packaging of tobacco products to Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou.

The World Health Organization's Framework Convention on tobacco control recommends introduction of plain packaging with no advertising elements. The Framework Convention was adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2003. Finland signed the Convention in 2003 and ratified it in 2004. The European Community is also party to the Convention.

By using plain packaging, when tobacco products will only bear the brand name needed for identifying the product and necessary warning labels, the advertising and promotion of tobacco products will be prevented. Minister Risikko proposes in her letter that the European Commission undertake to investigate possibilities to introduce these recommendations at EU level.

Minister Risikko's letter is based on a proposal included in the report of the Working Group on tobacco policy headed by State Secretary Ilkka Oksala. This Working Group preparing law amendments and measures related to tobacco policy submitted its final report in December 2008.

Further information
Kari Paaso, Director, tel. +358 9 160 74018, +358 50 4487 398