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EU lawmakers back tough new anti-smoking rules
EU Parliament votes in favor of tough new anti-smoking rules
Associated Press
2014-02-26 11:22 PM

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Parliament has voted in favor of tough new anti-smoking rules governing the multibillion-dollar tobacco market including the introduction of mandatory picture and text health warnings covering about two-thirds of cigarette packs.

Lawmakers on Wednesday voted for the larger warning labels -- with the inclusion of gruesome pictorials, for example showing cancer-infested lungs -- plus a ban on most flavored tobacco products and tighter regulation of e-cigarettes.

Health advocates welcome the legislation as a milestone in helping to reduce the number of smokers in the 28-nation bloc, while the tobacco industry condemns it as a burdensome regulation stymieing a legal industry that pays lots of taxes.

The legislation will take effect in 2016 following what is expected to be a rubberstamp approval procedure by EU governments next month.

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