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New Moves For Cancer Control

  • May 29th, 2011
  • Posted by EUEditor

no-smoking-sign.jpgStepped-up initiatives against tobacco, for cancer prevention, have been flagged in Brussels, as in Australia, legislation is shortly going to parliament for a tightening of market controls on cigarettes.

The European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli, last week (25.5.11), the  executive Commission was working on a planned revision of the law regulating the tobacco trade, next year.

It is the European Union 2001 Tobacco Products Directive, which, he said, “could be strengthened and adapted to reflect international commitments, developments in tobacco products as well as advances in science.”

As well as that Europe-wide law governing advertising and product standards, the European Commission was supporting projects in member countries like the extension of smoke-free environments, and financing a new EU-wide awareness campaign, “Ex-Smokers are Unstoppable” – due for launch in the next few weeks.

Speaking to mark European Week Against Cancer, Mr Dalli said nearly 2.5 million EU citizens were being diagnosed with cancer each year, the disease accounting for over a quarter of all deaths — 29% for men, 23% for women. The figure was expected to rise due to the ageing European population.

“However, it is estimated that around one third of cancers can be prevented if people take steps to improve their own health and avoid certain cancers, by making healthier choices”, he said.

He said government policies against cancer were being coordinated across the 27 EU countries, under plans to attack key risk factors  — such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and lack of physical activity. Those included the 2006 EU Alcohol Strategy, and 2007 Strategy for Europe on Nutrition.

A joint program run by governments, and community and professional organisations, called the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC), is to start with a conference in Spain next month – with a program to reduce the incidence of cancer by 15%, by 2020.

EU financial support for cancer research since 2003 had amounted amounted to nearly €1 billion (A$1.35-billion,, 29.5.11), funding 183 projects.

cigarette-packet-1.jpgTightening of anti-cancer legislation, on smoking, on its way to the Australian parliament, is to order all cigarette packaging to be in plain boxes, in the same drab-brown colour.

cigarette-packet-2.jpgCurrent packaging already mandates the printing of graphic health warnings (pictures), with pictures of diseased human organs on each packet of cigarettes.


European Commission , Brussels, “European Week Against Cancer: A joint commitment to prevent cancer”, IP/11/639, 25.5.11.

Pictures, sbs