Taoiseach Enda Kenny has written to all Irish MEPs and members of the European People's Party in the European Parliament urging them to vote against an amendment which would reduce the size of health warnings on cigarette packaging.
MEPs will vote today in Strasbourg on a number of proposed amendments to the EU’s tobacco directive, a key piece of EU legislation which was agreed by EU health ministers under the Irish presidency of the EU Council in June.
Under the EU system, the European Parliament must now agree on their own position on the directive before negotiations with member states on a final package can begin.
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The Irish Times reported that in the letter sent to MEPs, and co-signed by Minister for Health James Reilly, Enda Kenny said he was concerned at a proposal to reduce the size of the health warning on cigarette packaging to 50% from the 75% currently advocated by member states.
As well as the proposal on packaging, MEPs will vote on a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes and a controversial proposal to regulate e-cigarettes as a medicinal product.