High Court rules in favour of standardised packaging /

ahead of TPD implementation.

Today (19/05/2016) the High Court issued a judgment on the tobacco industry’s challenges to the UK regulations on standardised packaging of tobacco products. This landmark judgment confirms that all grounds of challenge made by the tobacco industry to halt the progress of standardised packaging have failed. The judgement is a comprehensive victory for public health and for the Government and confirms that ‘The Regulations were lawful when they were promulgated by Parliament and they are lawful now in the light of the most up to date evidence.’ The judgment affirmed that standardised packaging of tobacco ‘is about saving children from a lifetime of addiction, and children and adults from premature death and related suffering and disease.’ In response to the judgment Jane Ellison MP, Public Health Minister, has said “First and foremost, this is a victory for a generation that will grow up smoke-free. Standardised packaging will reduce smoking rates and save lives, which will always be a top priority for this Government. We will never allow the tobacco industry to dictate our policies.”

A short summary of the judgment is attached and the full judgment (over 600 pages) for those that are interested will be available shortly on the judgments page of the Judiciary.Gov website. In terms of next steps in the legal process, it is possible that the tobacco companies may seek to appeal the judgment from the High Court. An appeal would be heard by the UK Court of Appeal, most likely before the end of the year. Standardised packaging of tobacco products will come into force this Friday (20 May) and applies to all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco manufactured for the UK market. There is a 1 year sell through period in which retailers can sell old tobacco stock and from 21 May 2017 all cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco must be sold in standardised packs