[A2k] Reuters: Philip Morris prepared to sue UK over plain cigarette packaging

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Aug 14 03:29:44 PDT 2014


http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/us-philipmorris-britain-idUSKBN0GC11I20140812
Philip Morris prepared to sue UK over plain cigarette packaging

LONDON Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:15am EDT

(Reuters) - Philip Morris International
<http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=PM&lc=int_mb_1001>,
the world's largest tobacco
<http://www.reuters.com/sectors/industries/overview?industryCode=115&lc=int_mb_1001>
company,
is prepared to sue the British government should it implement a law
requiring plain packaging of cigarettes, a document seen by Reuters on
Tuesday showed.

The UK government has conducted a consultation with its Department of
Health on potential legislation which would force cigarette makers to sell
their products in plain packages with graphic health warnings and no
branding.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes "is prepared to protect its rights in the
courts and to seek fair compensation for the value of its property," the
company has told the UK government in response to its consultation.

The UK government said in April it wanted to implement plain packaging
after a review found it could reduce the incidence of children taking up
smoking. It published draft regulations in June, and launched a six-week
consultation that ended last week.

Philip Morris submitted its response to the UK government after the
consultation.

"'Standardized packaging' is a euphemism for government-mandated
destruction of property," Philip Morris said in its submission, seen by
Reuters on Tuesday. "It is unlawful, disproportionate, and at odds with the
most basic requirements of the rule of law."

If it goes ahead, Britain would be the second country after Australia
<http://www.reuters.com/places/australia?lc=int_mb_1001> to ban cigarette
branding.

Australia <http://www.reuters.com/places/australia?lc=int_mb_1001> is
already facing challenges at the World Trade Organization over complaints
the laws create illegal obstacles to commerce.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller
<http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=martinne.geller&>
in
London; editing by Shadia Nasralla)



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