The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which entered into force on 27 February 2006, is the first global health treaty addressing both demand reduction strategies as well as supply reduction issues. The EU has ratified this convention.
Philip Morris: "We fully support laws that are designed to reduce children's exposure to tobacco advertising, yet allow us to keep talking to adult smokers."
The European Smoking Tobacco Association (ESTA) "supports provisions for both smokers and non-smokers, minimising possible nuisance through environmental tobacco smoke in public and workplaces through segregated non-smoking areas, adequate ventilation and air filtration." According to ESTA, this can be best achieved through local or national regulations or voluntary agreements, for example between employers and employees or between industry and the legislator.
The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) and the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) think that "the European Commission and member-state governments have a moral obligation to complement smoke-free legislation with an effective policy designed to help smokers give up." According to these two organisations, the policy put forward should include sustained price and taxation increases and education and health promotion particularly directed at the young.
For more positions on tobacco, see EURACTIV 30 January 2007.
The Confederation of the food and drink industries of the European Union (CIAA), believes that any EU action for the prevention of overweight, obesity and chronic diseases should be established in a way that respects: free and informed choice for all consumers in Europe, dietary diversity and cultural identity of the EU member states and regions, the need for a strong scientific basis for all policy development, the need for EU policy to give added value over and above what is developed by the member states, the principle of proportionality and the need for all policy options to be evaluated to determine whether they are meeting the health goals set out for them.
The European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC) wants the current revision of the Television Without Frontiers Directive to restrict marketing to children of foods high in fat, sugar and salt. It also highlights the need to assure that all consumers have clear, consistent information about what is a healthy diet and have access to healthy, affordable products.
EURO COOP, the European Community of Consumer Co-operatives, believes that education about the benefits of a balanced diet coupled with physical exercise should start at a very early age.
The EU-Office of German Sports states that the role of sports, especially the role of sports early in school, is not promoted enough.The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) considers children and young people to be the most important single target group to address in the struggle against obesity in Europe, as behavioural patterns established in childhood and adolescence often remain in adult life.
The read individual to the Commission's stakeholder consultation on the Green paper on obesity click here.
The Brewers of Europe highlight the need for all EU action on alcohol to be evidence-based and to target only the misuse of alcoholic beverages, instead of "compromising the pleasure enjoyed by the people who drink responsibly".
In a recent conference, organised by the Brewers of Europe, medical evidence was presented on the benefits for health of moderate beer drinking.
Nordic countries, in particular Finland, are in favour an increase in the tax on spirits. "Alcohol policy is a national competence and each member state has its way of dealing with alcohol-related harm. One of the ways is to use the alcohol tax revenue to actions aimed at combating alcohol abuse and related health and social harm," commented an official from the Finnish permanent representation.
The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) welcomes the Commission Communication on alcohol related harm, as it acknowledges "the role the alcohol industry can play in reducing alcohol related harm, most notably in terms of promoting responsible consumption. The five priority themes proposed are entirely consistent with CEPS’ Charter on Responsible Alcohol Consumption," said Jamie Fortescue, Director General of CEPS.
For more positions on alcohol, see EURACTIV 25 October 2006.