Derrota da indústria do tabaco na Suprema Corte (17/5/2016) ACT+
Nota da ACT+
A indústria do tabaco sofreu uma derrota na Suprema Corte do Reino Unido, na ação em que contesta a validade da adoção das embalagens padronizadas! A Corte rejeitou todos os argumentos apresentados pela indústria. A medida entrará em vigor amanhã, dia 20 de maio.
As Supremas Cortes da Austrália e da França já proferiram decisão reconhecendo a constitucionalidade das embalagens padronizadas.
França e Irlanda já adotaram este tipo de embalagens em produtos de tabaco, e outros países deverão adotar em breve: Canadá, Hungria, Noruega e Eslovenia.
No Brasil, tramitam dois projetos de lei sobre o tema, um na Câmara dos Deputados e outro no Senado.
Tobacco Companies’ Legal Challenge to Standardised Tobacco Packaging Fails
Please note: key extracts from the judge’s ruling in the case will be available online from 2.30pm onwards at http://tinyurl.com/zjgnxwn
The tobacco industry’s High Court challenge to the Regulations on standardised (“plain”) tobacco packaging met with a humiliating defeat today. The landmark judgement in the case will help other countries looking to introduce the policy: France and the Republic of Ireland have already passed legislation and other countries are expected to follow soon, including Canada, Hungary, Norway and Slovenia. 
“This landmark judgement is a crushing defeat for the tobacco industry and fully justifies the Government’s determination to go ahead with the introduction of standardised packaging. Millions of pounds have been spent on some of the country’s most expensive lawyers in the hope of blocking the policy. This disgraceful effort to privilege tobacco business interests over public health has rightly failed utterly.”
The standardised packaging Regulations come into effect in the UK tomorrow (Friday 20th May 2016). All cigarettes manufactured for sale in the UK after this date must comply with standardised packaging regulations. Cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco will be sold in drab brown packages which have had all the attractive features and colours removed. [See illustration below]
ASH was an intervener in the case supporting the Government’s defence of the Regulations, and provided written evidence and an oral submission to the court. 
The judgement by the Hon Mr Justice Green rejects every argument the industry put forward in court . It is highly critical of the industry’s use of expert evidence it commissioned to back its case and its failure to disclose any internal assessments on how packaging design works for children and young people and what the effect on standardised packaging on sales is likely to be. The judgement also notes that the great mass of the expert evidence put to the court by the tobacco industry was neither peer reviewed nor published in an appropriate scientific or technical journal.
ASH believes that disclosure of any relevant internal documents would be likely to undermine the tobacco companies arguments that standardised packaging will not work, because it would show the industry’s knowledge of how children and young people are recruited as smokers, and what role brand identity plays in this. At present, two thirds of current smokers started when they were children and research shows that dull standardised packs are less attractive to young people. 
The tobacco companies are now considering whether or not to appeal.
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