With what seems like a continual barrage of attacks from government and social outlets against anything tobacco, it is good to see that the Tobacco industry is starting to fight back against the government – playing at their own game.
Recently the UK Government had moved forward with an initiative started by the Australian Government in 2012 that would prevent tobacco companies from using anything but plain packaging for retail sale. This is an attempt to remove the ‘allure from smoking’ – an angle the EU reports is one of the most detrimental notions to start smoking.
Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco – two of the worlds biggest tobacco companies – have each filed law suits against the UK Government. Their lawsuits argue the fact that the Government is depriving them of property in the form of trademarks and are seeking compensation that could potentially exceed Billions of dollars.
After objections had been filed to the High Court, there is also a claim that reports this violates European intellectual property laws. The Department of Health said it would not let policy “be held to ransom by the tobacco industry”.
The UK Government reported they have been expecting legal challenges after the standardization of packaging passed in March of this year.
While Australia began this trend in 2012 – they have successfully fought against similar lawsuits from Big Tobacco. While it has not been stated that the tobacco companies are expecting to win, it has been speculated that they are hoping to delay implementation or discourage other countries from taking on similar laws. Japanese Tobacco International and Imperial Tobacco have been rumored to be applying for similar lawsuits.