The Romanian Government is urged to transpose the EU Tobacco Products Directive without weakening the new Smoke Free Law

22/06/2016

On 20 May 2016, the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) entered into force, requiring EU Member States to transpose its provisions into national law. The new rules provide for a number of key measures with the aim of making tobacco products less attractive in the way they taste and look.The Romanian Government demonstrates a positive ambition to fulfil its national obligation towards the European Union with the Emergency Ordinance establishing the conditions for manufacturing, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products amending Law no. 349/2002 on preventing and combating the effects of tobacco products. The consultation period is currently under way and interested individuals and legal entities (NGOs, institutions, etc.) can send in amendments to the text by the 14th of July 2016.

The European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention (ENSP) and the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) sent a joint letter to Romanian Prime Minister and Minister of Health in order to urge the Romanian Government to do everything in its power to transpose the TPD, without adopting any amendment that would weaken the smoke free legislation, which aims at protecting citizens from the harmful effects of tobacco use.

In the letter, ENSP together with ECPC urged the Romanian Government to adopt the two texts in compliance with the original joint objectives: prevention (TPD) and protection (smoke free law), called on to ensure that any further attack on the public health of Romanians is prevented, as well as urged the Government to guarantee the complete and impartial implementation of the Tobacco Products Directive in a way that would not destroy the significant progress supported by the majority of Romanian MPs.

You can download a scan of the letter here.

BACKGROUND NOTE:

  • Smoking prevalence in Romania is of 27%, the non-smokers population being permanently exposed to second-hand smoke at their workplace but also in public spaces and at home and paying the same price as active smokers in terms of health (GATS 2011);
  • Out of the 42.024 Romanians who die yearly because of tobacco smoke, 13.7% die because of second-hand smoke. So, Romania is losing 5700 people yearly due to second-hand smoke (15 people every day!);
  • Romania has the largest second-hand smoking population in Europe: only 38% report to never or almost never be exposed to smoke at their workplace, vs. the European average of 72%, although in the past 7 years smoking at the workplace has been allowed by law only in specially organized, separate and isolated areas;
  • The most significant impact of the exposure to smoking in Romania is seen among the young generation. According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2013 Romania (latest available research among young people), almost 50% of the young people claim they have started smoking before they turned 12 years old. In terms of exposure to second-hand smoke, 35,5% of young people are exposed at home, 40% in enclosed public spaces (school, club, restaurant, shopping mall) and 44,6% in open public places (park, beach, playgrounds, swimming pools).