Proposed measures to discourage smoking shouldn't ruin producers - PM
The Lithuanian Health Ministry's proposals aimed at discouraging smoking should not ruin manufacturers, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Tuesday.
"It is our goal to reduce tobacco harm and access (to tobacco products), but we also hear socially responsible businesses and producers, and we can't allow one or another measure to ruin our industry," he said on LRT Radio.
The prime minister is meeting later in the day with officials from the Lithuanian Industrialists' Confederation and the National Tobacco Manufacturers Association to discuss the ministry's proposed restrictions on tobacco product sales.
Arnas Neverauskas, the association's executive director, told BNS on Monday that he was critical of the proposal to introduce plain cigarette packaging in two years' time.
In his words, such an initiative amounts to the nationalization of tobacco manufacturers' brands and deprives them of their only means to compete.
The proposed amendments to the Law on the Control of Tobacco, Tobacco Products and Related Products call for introducing plain cigarette packaging, prohibiting tobacco displays in shops, and banning smoking on balconies of multi-apartment buildings and in outdoor cafes, beaches and some other places.