"I am delighted to see
Parliament voting for a radical improvement on the original proposal
from the Council of Ministers.
"This is not about
persecuting smokers or banning tobacco but about strengthening
individual responsibility and ending smoking's glamorous
"I was glad to see most
MEPs voting for tough action, but today also showed how far we have
to go to control this problem. Immediately after the vote, a large
number of MEPs left the chamber and lit up in the non-smoking area
in the foyer so I could not leave the chamber, as tobacco smoke
gives me an immediate asthma attack.
"The irony was
incredible - maybe they were upset at losing the vote. I had to stay
inside to wait for the next session.
"The quaestors of the
Parliament are still completely failing to enforce the rules. There
are quite a number of MEPs and staff who are also asthmatic. It is
"Cigarettes are branded
'Ultra lights' as if they were some sort of low fat yoghurt. But
they are just as dangerous.
"I hope the larger
warnings and pictures will help to put off young people from taking
it up. I developed asthma as a result of smoking - there were no
health warnings when I started.
"In the European Union
there is almost one tobacco death per minute. It is not a glamorous
activity at all. It is a rotten, painful way to die. Now we should
have a new directive to ban cross border tobacco advertising.
the European Union should make its tobacco control policies more
consistent, and get rid of subsidies to EU tobacco farmers."