MARTIN DE LA TORRE, Victoria
Today Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament voted to urgently introduce an independent traceability system for tobacco products. Some members of the parliamentary committee on health and environment had introduced an objection that would have delayed the adoption of the traceability system, thus again benefiting the tobacco industry. The S&Ds want to guarantee full implementation by 2019.
S&D spokesperson on this issue, Gilles Pargneaux MEP, said:
“We have no time to waste. Nearly 10% of the global cigarette trade is illicit; this poses severe risks to public health due to increased accessibility and affordability. Moreover, illicit tobacco trade evades revenue collection estimated at 10 billion euros annually in Europe. Tobacco is one of the most smuggled commodities in the world and the profits from illicit trade feed terrorism and international and local crime – including money laundering.