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Red PaPaz v. Rappi S.A.S [Colombia] [March 02, 2022]
On December 2, 2019, the Colombian Association of Fathers and Mothers – Red PaPaz, filed a claim before the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) against Rappi S.A.S (Rappi), a Colombian on-demand delivery online company, for the lack of mechanisms on Rappi's e-commerce website and mobile app to ensure that minors do not search and buy harmful products through them (such as alcohol and tobacco products). Specifically, the complaint alleged that minors could access, purchase and receive alcoholic beverages and tobacco products through Rappi's website without any significant limitations and without their age being verified at the time of purchase and delivery. This lack of protective measures violated the norms for the protection of minors established in Colombia's Law No. 1801-2016, Childhood and Adolescence Law. The complaint filed by Red PaPaz was investigated jointly, with many additional complaints filed by Colombian consumers against Rappi due to a series of infringements of the Colombian Consumer Protection Law. Upon completing the investigation, the SIC verified each of the infractions reported by Red PaPaz and several other consumers and determined to fine Rappi approximately $312,000.00 USD ($1,245,000,000.00 Colombian pesos). The decision has been challenged by Rappi.
[Unnamed Actor] v. México [Mexico] [October 02, 2019]
An agent from the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) confiscated electronic cigarettes from the plaintiff under Article 16(VI) of the General Law on Tobacco Control, which states: "It is prohibited to trade, sell, distribute, display, promote or produce any object that is not a tobacco product which contains some of the brand elements or any type of design or auditory sign that identifies it with tobacco products." The plaintiff filed an Amparo action challenging the interpretation of Article 16. The Ministers of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) decided unanimously that it is unconstitutional to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes while, on the other hand, the sale of tobacco products is allowed in Mexico. The Court considered that even though the law seeks to protect the right to health, this cannot be done at the cost of an excessive affectation of other goods and rights. The Ministers agreed that prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes while the sale of tobacco products is allowed violates the right to equality, and that the measure is not the least restrictive to guarantee other constitutionally protected rights. As a result, they revoked the order from COFEPRIS and ordered the return of the seized goods to the plaintiff.
This ruling applies only to the plaintiff who was a party to this case. However, if the same court issues five judgments with identical holdings, the decision would be binding nationally. This is the third such decision by the Second Chamber.
Philippine Tobacco Institute v. City of Balanga, et al. [Philippines] [July 22, 2019]
The Philippine Tobacco Institute (PTI), whose members include Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. and JTI Philippines, Inc., challenged a City of Balanga ordinance making the City's 80-hectare University Town and its three kilometer radius "tobacco free," meaning the sale, use and marketing of tobacco products and e-cigarettes are banned. In July 2018, the Regional Trial Court declared the ordinance unconstitutional and invalid. The City appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, which upheld the lower court's decision. The Court of Appeals concluded that the ordinance was invalid because it went beyond the provisions of Republic Act No. 9211, a federal law. (The federal law prohibits smoking in specified places and the sale of tobacco products within 100 meters of schools, playgrounds, and other facilities frequented by minors. The City ordinance, on the other hand, prohibits selling, distributing, using, advertising, and promoting tobacco products within University Town and within a three-kilometer radius.) The City's Motion for Reconsideration was also denied.
Philippine Tobacco Institute v. City of Balanga et al. [Philippines] [May 21, 2019]
The Philippine Tobacco Institute ("PTI"), whose members include JTI and PMI, challenged a City of Balanga ordinance creating a tobacco-free generation, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to any person born on or after January 1, 2000. The Regional Trial Court ruled in favor of PTI in July 2018, concluding that "any ordinance prohibiting PTI from selling to any person regardless of age is an unreasonable and oppressive interference of business." The court reasoned that the ordinance now covers individuals who have reached the age of majority and is not limited to minors. In addition, the court held that the ordinance violates substantive due process of those exercising parental authority since the ordinance attempted to extend criminal liability to parents.
The City’s appeal to the Court of Appeals was denied, as was a motion for reconsideration.
Grişciuc, Simion v. Republic of Moldova [Moldova] [April 08, 2019]
On April 8, 2019, the Constitutional Court upheld the Tobacco Control Law’s provision banning tobacco sales from commercial establishments that are smaller than 20 m^2 (i.e., kiosks) and are located within 200 meters of educational and healthcare facilities. This provision was adopted in May 2015 and came into force on September 17, 2015, but the Moldovan Parliament passed an amendment delaying the effective date to January 1, 2019 for commercial establishments that were in existence before July 1, 2016.
A Member of Parliament filed a complaint alleging that the provision violated several articles of the Constitution, including equal protection, freedom of commerce and entrepreneurial activity, and protection of fair competition, among others.
In upholding the measure, the court concluded that the policy serves a legitimate aim – limiting access by minors and protecting the health of minors and patients – and there were no less restrictive alternative measures that would be as effective in achieving the objectives. The court also cited the four-year delay in implementation given to existing commercial establishments, concluding that this time period provided sufficient time to adapt to the new sales restrictions. The decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Nicopure Labs, LLC v. Food and Drug Administration [United States] [July 21, 2017]
A manufacturer of e-cigarette devices and liquids challenged a federal regulation that deemed e-cigarettes to be “tobacco products.” This rule subjects e-cigarettes to the same federal laws as traditional cigarettes under the Tobacco Control Act (TCA). The manufacturer argued that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which issued the regulations, did not have the authority to regulate empty e-cigarettes or nicotine free e-liquids, because they were not made or derived from tobacco. The company also argued that the TCA’s ban on distributing free samples and pre-approval for modified risk statements was arbitrary and violated their First Amendment rights.
In this decision, the District Court upheld the FDA’s rule. The TCA gives the FDA the power to regulate “components” of tobacco products. The court found empty e-cigarettes and nicotine-free e-liquids are “components” of a tobacco product because together they make up an electronic nicotine delivery system. Further, the court found that the rule did not violate the manufacturers’ First Amendment rights because the ban on free samples was regulating conduct, not speech. The court also held that pre-approval for modified risk statements did not violate the First Amendment because it does not ban modified risk statements, it only requires the claims be substantiated. Finally, the court found because of the public health risks associated with nicotine and increasing rates of e-cigarette use in adolescents and adults, the decision to subject e-cigarettes to the TCA was not arbitrary.
Pranvesh v. Union of India [India] [June 30, 2016]
A University of Allahabad student filed a writ petition alleging the unabated sale of tobacco to minors and adults in the city of Allahabad. The High Court of Allahabad found that temporary and permanent shops located near schools and other public institutions were making such sales. The Court also found that certain tobacco manufacturers presented misleading information about their products in print and visual media and failed to comply with the requirement for pictorial warnings on tobacco products. The Court passed the following directions: (1) that all temporary/permanent establishments selling tobacco within a 100 yard radius of educational institutions be removed; (2) that all temporary/permanent establishments selling tobacco within 500 meter radius of the High Court and the District Court be removed; (3) that the sale of tobacco to persons seated in parked cars on roads and road sides be stopped; and (4) that strict action be taken against tobacco manufacturers who violate the requirement for compulsory statutory warnings on their products.
Vekony v. Hungary [Hungary] [January 13, 2015]
A tobacco retailer was forced to apply for a new license after a national law created a state monopoly on tobacco sales. The retailer’s application for a tobacco license was denied and, as a result of the lost sales, his shop was forced to close. The retailer claimed that the loss of his tobacco license unjustly deprived him of his property. The court found that the government’s decision not to grant the tobacco license interfered with the “peaceful enjoyment of possessions” guaranteed in the European Human Rights Convention. The court also found that the retailer had to suffer an excessive burden and awarded him 15,000 Euros to compensate for the lost business, plus 6,000 Euros for attorney costs.
Naya Bans Sarv Vyapar Association v. Union of India [India] [November 11, 2014]
An association of tobacco wholesalers challenged a provision of India's omnibus tobacco control law that prohibits the sale tobacco products within 100 yards of a school. An earlier judgment ruled that the law applied to wholesale as well as retail tobacco sales and allowed the association to conduct its wholesale business within 100 yards of a school only after 2 pm. This decision modified the earlier order by changing the time that the association is allowed to conduct business to after 4 pm.
Manager Smoke Sheesha Abbotabad v. Asst. Commissioner Abbottabad [Pakistan] [August 05, 2014]
A government inspector sent a final warning to a sheesha cafe to stop selling sheesha in public places, and to persons under the age of 18 years old. The manager of the sheesha cafe sought a Criminal Revision, but the court rejected the petition because it was without substance.