Wednesday 25 May 2022
Home ECJ European judges examine the holes in cigarette filters

European judges examine the holes in cigarette filters

A Dutch judge has submitted a complaint from non-smokers and health organizations to the European Court of Justice. The plaintiffs want a judgment about the controversial method with which the criticized protection of cigarettes filters is measured in laboratories.

The court in Rotterdam asks the European Court of Justice to pass judgment on the measurement method for this so-called tamper cigarette. The Dutch judges have "serious doubts" about how the inhaled amount of tar and nicotine is measured. The judges want to know whether the theory from the laboratory corresponds to what substances a smoker actually inhales.

The issue can take on similar forms as at the time with air pollution from diesel cars. There too, manufacturers appeared to evade the EU rules for health and air pollution by manipulating their measurements and tests in laboratories, thereby misleading EU inspections.

The lawsuit was filed by an anti-smoking foundation, the municipality of Amsterdam and a number of Dutch health organizations. They want the cigarette with a hole filter to be tackled and the current measurement method to be replaced by a more accurate measurement.

This is because the cigarette filter contains tiny tiny holes that are squeezed shut by the fingers or lips of the smoker when smoking. During measurements on a smoke machine in the laboratory, those holes remain free. As a result, during these tests, clean air is sucked in through the holes and the measurement figures for tar, nicotine and other substances are lower.

The court in Rotterdam is now asking the highest judge of the European Union for advice, because it has been decided in a European context how much tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide a smoker can receive. The measurement method is also laid down at European level.

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