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« Ban all tobacco products if you want to really stop people smoking | Main | Tobacco Directive could have been worse but don't believe the spin »

Cameron: EU ban on ten packs doesn't sound very sensible

David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions today:

EU ban on packs of ten cigarettes doesn't sound very sensible.

I'm trying to get a transcript of his exact words but it seems the PM was unaware of the policy that MEPs voted for in the European Parliament yesterday and is supported by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Fancy that!

Update: Here it is:

Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen) (Con):

Does the Prime Minister believe that when the European Union forces my constituents to buy 20 cigarettes at a time, rather than their current 10, it will reduce the number they smoke?

The Prime Minister:

It does not, on the face of it, sound a very sensible approach. I was not aware of the specific issue, so let me have a look at it and get back to my hon. Friend.

Someone - health secretary Jeremy Hunt, perhaps - should tell him the vote took place yesterday and the "specific issue" he refers to has been discussed and debated (although not by the British media) for at least three years.

What it does suggest is this. The Department of Health is a law unto itself and even the prime minister has no idea what ministers and civil servants are planning or consenting to - until it's too late.

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Reader Comments (6)

Surely Anna Soubry and all those involved in the proposal wouldn't have kept him or Parliament in the dark! That would have been rather underhand.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 15:06 | Unregistered CommenterXopher

It's on you-tube, just type in PMQ'S 9th October then click on at 30 mins 44 seconds.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 15:48 | Unregistered CommenterGary Rogers

Here is a link to bbc iplayer of todays prime ministers question time where David cameron mentions this. The bit where he talks about 10 packs in the TPD is at 30.44mins in...

In 2011 David cameron was reported in the mirror, to still have the occasional cigarette himself, but is careful not to be seen smoking in public.

Maybe he will have a fair understanding of the situation due to his own experiences as a smoker.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 16:37 | Unregistered CommenterClare

I registered that today. I'm glad it was picked up. It was worrying that he seemed to have been so oblivious of that controversy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 17:45 | Unregistered CommenterNorman Brand

Perhaps people (including Cameron) would have known more if the MSM had talked about the directive from time to time before the event.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 18:50 | Unregistered CommenterJunican

It's not too late. We can start saying no right now.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 19:00 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Speller

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