The European Community Commission proposed a ban on television advertising for cigarettes and other tobacco products beginning in October and a total advertising ban beginning in 1993.
In announcing the proposal Wednesday, EC Social Affairs Commissioner Vasso Papandreo of Greece said 90 percent of smokers pick up the habit before age 20, with 60 percent starting when they are 13."It is extremely important to reduce the demand for tobacco products to the maximum; we are dealing with people who are at a very impressionable age," said Papandreo, a smoker who refused to say whether she will give up the habit.
She said 440,000 people in EC countries die from smoking every year and that at the current rate 2 million people a year will die from the effects of tobacco use by the year 2025 in 31 European countries.
If the proposal is adopted by the Council of Ministers, direct and indirect advertising for cigarettes, cigars and pipes would be banned from television beginning in October, and by 1993 from newspapers, magazines and billboards.
Advertising would be limited to stores whose primary sales come from tobacco.