Friday, May 22, 2015

Big Business, Big Money, Big Blackmail

Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in England, killing 80,000 people every year. 

British American Tobacco and Philip Morris filed legal objections at the High Court in London. Another company, Imperial Tobacco, said in March that it intended to challenge the law in the UK courts. Japan Tobacco International (JTI), which owns the Winston, Camel and Benson & Hedges brands, also intends to take the government to court.

They claim that the new rules are illegal because they take away their trademark intellectual property. British American Tobacco and Philip Morris say that stopping them from using their trademarks goes against English and EU property law. They also argue that the plain packaging law prevents the free movement of goods. According to Philip Morris, the UK's law should have been postponed until the European Court of Justice had reached its decision on the matter.

Health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said it had commissioned legal advice that indicates the legislation is compatible with European law. The group’s chief executive Deborah Arnott said: 
“The tobacco industry knows it has little or no chance of winning but by threatening legal action it is trying to stop the infection spreading to other countries. Standardised plain packaging threatens the profitability of the industry and they are desperate to prevent other countries from following the example set by Australia, the UK and Ireland.”


0 comments: