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Pending Litigation Brought by Multinational Tobacco Companies against Governments

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids international legal consortium maintains a list of litigation currently before courts and tribunals around the world. This list contains claims

  1. brought by the largest multinational tobacco firms through either the parent company or direct affiliate (unless otherwise noted);
  2. filed against governments challenging tobacco control measures; and
  3. involving claims related to combustible tobacco products.

 

Country

Claimant/Plaintiff

General Claim

Procedural Status

Brazil

Souza Cruz Ltda. (BAT)

The tobacco industry challenged the constitutionality of the requirement of including a 30% text health warning in the front face of the packs.

Submitted in May, 2017. Pending before 7.ª Vara Federal do Distrito Federal. ACT submitted an amicus brief in September 2017.

Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of New Brunswick. 

The case was filed in March 2016.

Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of Nova Scotia.

The case was filed in May 2015.

Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of Quebec.

The case was filed in February 2016.

Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were adopted in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory graphic health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements are displayed on cigarette packages.

The lawsuit was filed on April 25, 2012.

Canada

JTI-Macdonald Corp.

JTI Macdonald filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were adopted in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory graphic health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements are displayed on cigarette packages.

The lawsuit was filed on April 3, 2012.

Colombia

The tobacco industry is seeking to invalidate a local ordinance that banned the sale of tobacco products near educational and public health institutions in Popayan.

Pending. However, the local ordinance is not currently being enforced because of another claim submitted by an individual citizen that has represented the tobacco industry in other cases but is acting on his own behalf in this case. 

European Union

Swedish Match

Swedish Match has brought a legal challenge against the European Union ban on moist snuff.

The case was referred to the European High Court of Justice on January 26, 2017.

Kenya

British American Tobacco Kenya Ltd.

BAT Kenya sued the Kenya government to void the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 in their entirety, which include the following measures:

  • Solatium compensatory annual contribution (2 % of the value of tobacco products manufactured or imported)  
  • Protections against public-tobacco industry interactions
  • Requirement for picture-based health warnings including the lack of technical repository given to BAT and the compliance date
  • Smoking ban in “streets, walkways, verandas adjacent to” public places
  • Requirement for owners to apply for certificate of compliance for DSAs
  • Tobacco product and industry disclosures.

The High Court of Kenya issued a ruling in favor of the government on March 24, 2016. The Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision on February 17, 2017. BAT Kenya has appealed to the Supreme Court, which issued an order on March 9, 2017 staying the decision of the appeals court while the appeal is pending.

Pakistan

Society for Alternative Media & Research (SAMAR)

The Ministry of Health has delayed implementation of 85% health warnings on several occasions, and, as of the date of this review, the new health warning requirements have yet to be implemented. Public health groups have challenged this delay in the Islamabad High Court, and the Pakistan Tobacco Company, a BAT subsidiary, has joined the case as third party.

Unknown. 

Thailand

JT International Company (Thailand), Limited
JT International SA

Tobacco manufacturers brought case to stop the Minister of Public Health from implementing a rule that would expand the size of the combined picture and text health warnings from 55% to 85% of the front and back of cigarette packaging. 

On May 29, 2014, the court ruled that the rule requiring larger health warnings should remain in effect until the court issues a final decision on the merits of the case.

Uganda

BAT Uganda Ltd.

Constitutional challenge to most of the provisions of Uganda’s 2015 Tobacco Control Act, including:

  • minimum public health warnings of 65% of the package;
  • a smoking ban;
  • prohibitions on the sale of tobacco products in specified locations and on the sale on smokeless tobacco, shisha, and ENDS;
  • prohibitions on POS product displays and vending machine sales;
  • prohibitions on privileges and incentives to the tobacco industry;
  • a two-year year cooling off period before moving from government with responsibility for tobacco control to the tobacco industry or from the tobacco industry to government with responsibility for tobacco control; and
  • provisions for criminal and forfeiture penalties.

The Constitutional Court denied BAT’s application for a temporary injunction on March 15, 2017 following a combined hearing on the injunction application and on the merits of the underlying petition on May 10, 2017.  The Court has not yet issued a decision on the main petition. 

United States

Cyclops Vapor 2, LLC
Tiger Vapor, LLC
Karma S Clouds, LLC

E-cigarettes companies challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The case was filed on July 8, 2016. The case is pending. 

United States

Lost Art Liquids, LLC

A manufacturer of e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 

The case was filed on May 19, 2016. The case is pending. 

United States

Enrique Fernando Sanchez Icaza
Global Premium Cigars, LLC

A cigar company challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 

The case was filed on June 1, 2016. It is currently pending. 

 

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