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GLD lawyers win UK High Court case to standardized tobacco packaging

Staff writer |
Government Legal Department (GLD) lawyers secured victory in the Court of Justice of the European Union and High Court in defence of standardized packaging of tobacco.




Evidence suggests that in the UK around 207,000 children aged between 11 and 15 years old start smoking every year. Smoking is the primary cause of preventable and premature death, accounting each year for over 100,000 deaths in the UK.

By requiring packs to be in a drab green color and removing logos and promotional graphics, standardized packaging will reduce the appeal of cigarettes, deterring young people from taking up smoking and helping existing smokers to quit.

Standardized packaging will also make health warnings more noticeable and reduce the likelihood of consumers being misled (e.g. by a misconception that some brands are safer). The regulations will contribute to the government’s objective to reduce smoking as much as possible to protect public health.

The Regulations that now make standardized packaging mandatory were drafted and defended by a team of lawyers from across GLD.

This followed two independent and systematic reviews of the evidence and consideration of more than 3,700 detailed submissions as part of two public consultations.

In the High Court case, the tobacco companies argued that the Health Secretary had placed only limited weight on the large amounts of evidence they had gathered.

The Judge ruled that the industry’s evidence was of low quality and the government was right not to give it greater weight.


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