European Smoking Tobacco Association

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The European Smoking Tobacco Association (ESTA) represents the interests of European manufacturers, distributors and importers of rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and nasal snuff tobacco.1


More than 40 companies are members, including several subsidiaries of British American Tobacco (BAT) and Imperial Brands (previously Imperial Tobacco), as well as national trade bodies from across the European Union. 2

Board Members

Board members are:3

  • Christian Greiveldinger, Heintz van Landewyck (Chair)
  • Bart Alkemade, Vereniging Nederlandse Kerftabakindustrie (Vice chair)
  • Ulf Bauer, BAT Belgium (Vice chair)
  • Alessandro Tschirkov, Imperial Tobacco Belgium
  • Michiel Reerink, Japan Tobacco International SA
  • Niels Frederiksen, Scandinavian Tobacco Group
  • Patrick Engels, VdR (German tobacco industry association)
  • Michael Kaib, VdR
  • Franz Peter Marx, VdR
  • Manuela van Kessel, VdR

Former board members

Lobbying Activities

The ESTA spent €300,000 to €350,000 on EU lobbying in 2009. 5

In recent years, it has argued against tighter rules to protect people against passive smoking,6 lower taxes for rolling and pipe tobacco 7 and the Europe-wide use of the industry’s own labelling system for tar yields from tobacco. 8

Against the Revised Tobacco Products Directive

In April 2011, ESTA wrote to the European Commission requesting “a meeting with you to discuss the currently ongoing discussions within the Commission assessing the impacts of a possible new Tobacco Products Directive … It seems to be disregarding that other tobacco products exist, as well as that a substantial number of small medium sized smoking tobacco companies in Europe will experience a significantly higher impact resulting from some of the regulation that is considered.” 9
One of the outcomes ESTA was lobbying for in the new Directive was a lifting of the European ban on Snus. 10

Criticising the RAND Impact Assessment Report

Like many of the tobacco trade organisations, ESTA was highly critical of Impact Assessment into the Revised Tobacco Products Directive carried out by RAND. ESTA argued that the draft report’s “structure and methodology needs substantive improvement,” including its lack of differentiation of tobacco products. The trade group objected to words such as “tobacco epidemic”, arguing this was an “overtly negative and emotional reference” that gave “little confidence in the ‘objective analysis’ that RAND Europe strives to”.11

Against Plain Packaging

In May 2011 Peter van der Mark, the Secretary General of ESTA, wrote to the European Commission concerning the Australian government’s plans for plain packaging. “ESTA”, he wrote, “is concerned about the apparent absence of a firm scientific justification for the measure for cigarettes, its doubtful effectiveness and the absence of any consideration to alternative measures which would be more proportionate.”
The letter continued: “The implications for international trade are immense if parties to the Convention would be allowed to represent the function of trademarks mainly in terms of advertising and on such grounds would be allowed to severely restrict the use and expression of trademarks.” 12

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  1. ESTA Website, ‘ESTA’, undated, accessed 27 July 2011
  2. ESTA website,Our members, undated, accessed 27 July 2011
  3. abESTA website,About ESTA, undated, accessed October 2014
  4. ESTA, About, undated, accessed 30 March 2011. Reinecke appeared to have replaced Michiel Reerink
  5. European Union lobbyists register, European Smoking Tobacco Association, 14 July 2011, accessed 27 July 2011
  6. ESTA website, Environmental tobacco smoke, undated, accessed 27 July 2011
  7. ESTA website, EU taxation of smoking tobacco products, undated, accessed 27 July 2011
  8. ESTA website, Product labelling and consumer information, undated, accessed 27 July 2011
  9. ESTA, Letter to European Commission, 26 April 2011
  10. ESTA, Public consultation on the possible revision of the Tobacco Products Directive 2001/37/EC, 13 December 2010
  11. ESTA, ESTA specific concerns related to RAND Europe Interim report ‘Assessing the Impacts of Revising the Tobacco Products Directive’ (PM- 3441-EC), undated
  12. P. van der Mark, REF Notification G/TBT/N/AUS/67 of the Australian Government on “Plain Packaging”, Letter to the Commissioner Karel de Gucht, 18 May 2011