Delivering a blow to the U.S. tobacco industry, the European Parliament today voted to ban the use of most additives and flavorings used to improve the taste of cigarettes.
Kentucky burley growers had lobbied against the measure, fearing the new rules would make it harder to sell their crop to Europeans. Currently, 43 percent of the burley grown in Kentucky is exported to Europe. The burley is routinely mixed with additives.
Backers of the new rules say they're aimed at making tobacco products less attractive to young people.
Under the new rules, all cigarette packs must also carry a health warning covering 65 percent of their surface.
The Parliament rejected a proposed ban on slim cigarettes.
Currently, 28 percent of all Europeans smoke, down from 40 percent in 2002. And smoking is blamed on 700,000 deaths each year in the European Union.