A consumer group has launched an online petition against new proposals to regulate tobacco throughout the European Union.


Proposed changes to the European Commission’s Tobacco Products Directive include a display ban, the introduction of plain packaging, the enlargement of picture warnings on packs, a ban on tobacco vending machines, and the prohibition of all types of smokeless tobacco products.


Simon Clark, director of the smoker’s group Forest, said: “We support measures that educate children and adults about the health risks of smoking, but we oppose unnecessarily restrictive regulations that are designed to denormalise a legal product and will threaten jobs and small businesses and inconvenience millions of law-abiding citizens throughout Europe.”


The EC’s public consultation on proposed revisions to the Tobacco Products Directive closes on Friday 17 December.


Clark added: “We urge everyone who opposes these proposals to sign the petition which will be submitted to the EC as part of the consultation. It is essential that consumers make their voices heard in Brussels as well as in Westminster.”


To sign the petition, which will be delivered by Forest to the European Commission in Brussels on 17 December, visit www.forestpetition.eu.