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EU seeks move toward tougher smoking laws

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December 19, 2012 09:12 AM EST | AP


BRUSSELS — The European Union's health chief is calling for bigger warnings covering cigarette packs and bans on certain flavorings like menthol, strawberry and vanilla, which can draw youngsters to smoking.

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said Wednesday's legal proposals for a bigger crackdown on tobacco were aimed at reducing smoking-related deaths, which stand at around 700,000 a year in the 27-nation EU.

Borg said that `'a city the size of Frankfurt of Palermo is wiped off our map every single year."

Borg wants the health warnings, which already take up a sizable part of a pack to increase to 75 percent on the front and backs and 50 percent on the sides.

His proposals now go to the EU member nations and parliament for possible adoption in 2014.