Thursday, December 01, 2016

Plain packs win in the UK

In 2014, the UK introduced plain packaging for cigarettes in an effort to destroy tobacco companies' last form of stealth advertising. Naturally, they went to court over it. And naturally, they lost:

The latest attempt by tobacco companies to prevent the introduction of mandatory plain packaging of cigarettes in the UK has been rejected by the court of appeal.

The judgment is a fresh blow to companies who face having to replace their current heavily branded distinctive packs with boxes that are indistinguishable from each other bar the brand name on the packet in standard typeface, colour and size.


In May, the high court rejected their arguments, the day before the tobacco products directive of the EU took effect. Some of the companies took the case to the court of appeal last month but, on Wednesday, the three judges, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London, dismissed the challenge.

Lord Justice Lewison, Lord Justice Beatson and Sir Stephen Richards ruled that the health secretary had “lawfully exercised his powers”.

Big Tobacco has deep pockets and is desperate, so they'll probably try and take this to the Supreme Court. And hopefully they'll lose there too.

Meanwhile in New Zealand we've passed the law, but it hasn't yet been brought into force as they're still finalising regulations. But hopefully that will be soon.