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Top tobacco companies lose plain packaging appeal

Britain’s High Court has rejected a legal challenge brought by the world’s top four tobacco companies against making plain packaging compulsory on cigarettes.

Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands had argued the law, due to come into force on Friday, unlawfully took away their intellectual property.

“It is wrong to view this issue purely in monetised terms alone,” the ruling said on Thursday.

“There is a significant moral angle which is embedded in the regulations which is about saving children from a lifetime of addiction, and children and adults from premature death and related suffering and disease.”

Plain packaging means a ban on all marketing on tobacco packages — including colours, logos and distinctive fonts — to try to make smoking less attractive, especially to young people.

Governments around the world are cracking down on the deadly habit that kills about 6 million people a year.

Australia became the first country to mandate cigarettes must be sold in plain packages when it passed a law in 2012.


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