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Following a heated debate, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted at its 10-11 July plenary session an opinion on the review of the tobacco directive proposed by the European Commission. In its opinion, the EESC argues that the changes proposed by the Commission will have serious consequences for jobs, the economy and tax revenues, thereby breaching other fundamental EU objectives such as full employment and restored growth. However, the European Economic and Social Committee is also fully aware of the risks that tobacco poses to public health.
The EESC believes that equal access to healthcare, one of the main objectives of health policies, can benefit from digital support provided certain conditions are met: equal geographical coverage; bridging the digital divide; interoperability among the various components of the digital architecture (databases, medical devices); and protection of health data which must under no circumstances be used to the detriment of patients. The EESC highlights the need to develop and facilitate people's digital health literacy to encourage a critical approach to health information and to support the development of a nomenclature of reimbursable treatments and wellbeing services