Plain packs go-ahead

But tobacco giant to appeal court OK for standardised packaging

Tobacco firms’ legal challenges to plain packs were rejected.
Tobacco firms’ legal challenges to plain packs were rejected.
THE UK has moved closer to a regime of standardised packaging for tobacco products, where packs of all brands of cigarettes will look almost identical, after the High Court of Justice in London rejected challenges from tobacco companies to The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.
The regulations require all manufacturers, from 20 May 2016, to produce only compliant packs of tobacco products, which will feature large health warnings and only a small, plain-font statement of brand name.
From 20 May 2017 retailers must sell only such packs. The regulations are in addition to new rules under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD2) which runs to the same timetable, bans packs with fewer than 20 sticks and RYO packs of less than 30g, and restricts flavoured tobacco and certain styles of pack and product.
British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, JTI and Philip Morris International had sought judicial review on several grounds, and had argued, among other things, that intellectual property rights were being breached, and that the regulations were disproportionate and unlikely to have the public health benefits suggested.
But Justice Green dismissed all the applications for judicial review.
JTI said it will appeal against the decision.
Daniel Sciamma, UK managing director of JTI, said:“The fact remains that our branding has been eradicated and we maintain that this is unlawful.”