Tobacco firms sue UK over new rules on plain packaging

According to latest reports, Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco on Friday (22-May) filed lawsuits against the British government over new rules beginning next May that would oblige cigarettes to be sold in plain packages.

The tobacco Industry is frightened over a growing international move toward laws ordering that colorfully marked cigarette boxes be supplanted with dreary, uniform bundles displaying prominent health warnings.

As understood the reports, the tobacco companies claimed the plain packaging law, which goes live in twelve months, is unnecessary, harms their trademarks and infringes World Trade Organization rules.

Marc Firestone, General Counsel of Philip Morris said in a statement, “We respect the government’s authority to regulate in the public interest, but wiping out trademarks simply goes too far.”

However, Jean-Christophe Gray, UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesperson said in a statement, the rules went through an extensive review process.