Romanian reformist party Save Romania Union (USR) has accused the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the National Liberal Party (PNL) of siding with the tobacco industry, Radio Europa Libera reported.
USR's reaction came after the Chamber of Deputies' expert committees of budget, culture, and health issued negative opinions on the anti-tobacco draft law that restricts advertising and puts new tobacco products in the same category with traditional cigarettes.
Gilda Lazar, Director Corporate Affairs & Communications - JTI Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria, commented that the bill was hyper-regulatory and recommended the authors to focus on the education of vulnerable groups if they wanted to cut the tobacco addiction among youngsters as declared.
During the debate, an NGO, in partnership with the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE), came up with a report against the draft law, concluding that it would push down the country's GDP and the revenues to the budget.
Romania's GDP will decrease by 0.26% in the short term and by 0.85% in the long term, as an effect of the draft law that introduces tighter regulations for the sale of tobacco products, according to a report conducted by the Competitiveness Initiative (INACO) and ASE, quoted by Agerpres.
Representatives of civil society drafted the anti-tobacco bill, in a "radical form", as publicly stated by the initiator himself who took it over and submitted it to the Parliament, without an impact analysis, states INACO.
In essence, the amendment restricts the advertising and public display of tobacco products in supermarkets - a provision sometimes misleadingly reported in media as "the ban of selling tobacco products in supermarkets."
The initiator of the bill, Emanuel Ungureanu, stressed that the legislation does not prohibit smoking or the sale of cigarettes in supermarkets, but only their display in stores, adding that the main goal is to combat the intense promotion of tobacco products.
The provisions extend to new tobacco products, which is a major stake for the industry. INACO and ASE claim that the retail turnover would shrink by 20% in the short term and 10% in the long term due to the restrictions in the new law.
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