Tobacco Manufacturers Fight Cigarette Packaging Restrictions

Tobacco advertising will be a thing of the past from May 20 when the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive takes affect.

Famous figures and tobacco advertising campaigns such as Marlboro man will become extinct, with all cigarettes being sold in mud-green (apparently the ugliest colour in the world) packaging full of large warnings about the dangers of smoking.

In addition, the “material, size, shape and opening mechanism of the packaging” will be standardised, and the minimum amount of cigarettes sold per pack will be 20.

Some tobacco companies are considering taking the case to the Supreme court after being largely defeated at the Court of Appeal. A court judge commented on the plain packaging: research found that the designs and branding upon cigarette packaging and upon the tobacco products themselves exerted a causal effect upon consumer behaviour and encouraged smoking,” dismissing claims from the tobacco companies that the plain packaging was ineffectual.

“Governments that are considering the introduction of plain packaging should do nothing until they have seen independent reviews of the impact of standardised packs in the UK, France and Ireland,” argues Simon Clark, director of the industry-backed smokers’ group Forest.

Big Tobacco have criticised the changes, saying the new legislation will turn consumers to the cheapest brand or the black market.

It’s not just in Europe where tobacco manufacturers face a battle with regulators, either. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration rejected a plea from markets to advertise snus, arguing that snus is a healthier option than traditional tobacco.

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