Speed Reads

Them's the rules

E.U. moves to strengthen its anti-smoking rules, adds graphic warnings on cartons

Flickr CC By: Fried Dough

The European Union would really like for its citizens to curb their notorious smoking habit. The European Parliament voted today to require cigarette manufacturers to increase the warnings displayed on packages and to eventually eliminate flavored tobacco. Starting in 2016, graphic anti-smoking images and warnings must encompass 65 percent of the front and back of cigarette boxes. Current rules only require small text alerts, and not explicit pictures, on tobacco packages.

By 2020, the E.U. will phase out the sales of roll-your-own tobacco products and flavors (such as menthol and vanilla). Parliament members hope the new rules will deter young people from picking up smoking and decrease the 700,000 people who die each year from tobacco-related causes.