Three tobacco companies have lost their appeal against the government’s plain packaging rules for cigarettes packs.
The case, brought by British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International, comes after a challenge against the new rules was dismissed at the High Court in May.
The UK is the first country in Europe to require cigarettes to be sold in plain, standardised packaging,
The government has said it means a generation will “grow up smoke-free”.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of health charity ASH, said: “This is a victory for public health and another crushing defeat for the tobacco industry.
“This ruling should also encourage other countries to press ahead with standardised packaging, now that the industry’s arguments have yet again been shown to be without foundation.”
But Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said the government was targeting the consumer as well as the tobacco industry with the new rules.
“Plain packs are unlikely to stop people smoking but the impact on consumer choice could be significant because some brands will almost certainly disappear from the market.
“Tobacco is a legal product. The law should not impose excessive regulations on consumers who know the health risks and don’t need this type of finger-wagging measure.”
BBC NEWS – Health