Pending Litigation Brought by Multinational Tobacco Companies against Governments
The International Legal Consortium at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids maintains a list of tobacco-related litigation currently before courts and tribunals around the world. This list contains claims challenging tobacco control measures that have been brought by the largest multinational tobacco firms through either the parent company or direct affiliate (unless otherwise noted). While we have attempted to include all legal challenges brought by multinational tobacco firms against governments, we cannot guarantee that this list is exhaustive.
Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers Association (Members include BAT)
The tobacco industry appealed a judgment declaring illegal a National Tobacco Control Cell notification that allowed the printing of the graphic health warning on the bottom 50% of tobacco packs and packages.
Matter is pending - one in the Appellate Division and the other in the High Court Division.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
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.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Sinditabaco (members include BAT, JTI, and PMI)
Numerous entities, including Brazilian tobacco lobbying group Sinditabaco, which counts BAT, JTI, and PMI as members, have challenged ANVISA Resolution No. 14 of March 15, 2012, which prohibits the use of certain additives in tobacco products.
Legal challenges have been filed before several different federal tribunals and are at different stages in the judicial process.(Last Updated 01/23/2019)
Imperial Tobacco Canada
Imperial Tobacco filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were issued in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory pictorial health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements to be displayed on cigarette packages.
The lawsuit was filed on April 25, 2012.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
JTI Macdonald filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were issued in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory pictorial health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements to be displayed on cigarette packages.
The lawsuit was filed on April 3, 2012.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
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.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Juul Labs Inc.
Juul Labs Inc. is challenging amendments to the Restriction of Advertising and Marketing of Tobacco Products Law passed in December 2018. In particular, Juul is challenging the extension of tobacco-related restrictions to e-cigarettes such as Juul.
Juul Labs Inc. filed a petition with the Supreme Court on February 27, 2019.(Last Updated 02/28/2019)
The tobacco industry challenged the validity of the 2014 rules that require 85% graphic health warnings on both sides of tobacco product packaging.
Lower court ruled in favor of the tobacco industry. Government and health groups appealed to the Supreme Court of India. Petition submitted in January 2018. Supreme Court stayed operation of lower court decision. Matter to be decided soon on the merits.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
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 designated smoking areas
- 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 then appealed to the Supreme Court. After issuing an order on March 9, 2017 staying the decision of the appeals court while the appeal is pending, the Supreme Court heard the case on April 26, 2018. The Supreme Court decision is pending.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Philippine Tobacco Institute (Members include PMI and JTI companies)
The tobacco industry has 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 case is pending at a Regional Trial Court.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Philippine Tobacco Institute (Members include PMI and JTI companies)
The tobacco industry has challenged as unconstitutional and invalid a City of Balanga ordinance making the City's 80-hectare University Town and its 3 kilometer radius tobacco-free, where the sale, use and marketing of tobacco products and e-cigarettes are banned.
PTI filed the case on July 31, 2017 and a decision from a Regional Trial Court was issued in July 2018 in favor of the industry. The subsequent Motion for Reconsideration of the decision was also denied. An appeal was filed by the City and is currently pending with the Court of Appeals
An appeal was filed by the City and is currently pending with the Court of Appeals.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd. (a subsidiary of BAT)
Pakistan Tobacco Company (a subsidiary of British American Tobacco) challenges the recently mandated 50% graphic health warning requirement.
During the initial hearing in this matter, the court refused to stay implementation of the 50% graphic health warnings. Additional hearings in near future.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
Society for Alternative Media & Research (SAMAR) (as petitioner requesting government to implement 85% warnings); Pakistan Tobacco Company (a subsidiary of BAT) (as third party intervenor requesting government to NOT implement 85% warnings)
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. In June 2018, 50% graphic health warnings went into effect in Pakistan. Notwithstanding the new 50% warnings, the challenge to the 85% warnings remains pending.
The matter remains pending. Additional hearings in the near future.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
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.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
BAT Uganda Ltd.
Constitutional challenge to most of the provisions of Uganda’s 2015 Tobacco Control Act, including:
- minimum pictorial health warnings of 65% of the package;
- a smoking ban;
- prohibitions on the sale of tobacco products in specified locations and on the sale of smokeless tobacco, shisha, and ENDS;
- prohibitions on retail 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.(Last Updated 01/17/2019)
E-cigarette manufacturers, cigar manufacturers, trade associations, and retailers sued the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the FDA published its deeming rule, extending the agency's regulatory jurisdiction over tobacco products to e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and other products that had not yet been regulated by the FDA.
There are around 10 cases brought by plaintiffs that include various legal challenges at various legal stages.(Last Updated 02/04/2019)
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