Altadis, S.A. v. Philip Morris Spain, S.L.

The tobacco company Altadis, S.A., a subsidiary of Imperial Brands, filed a complaint against Philip Morris Spain, S.L. (Philip Morris) for violating the advertising prohibition in the tobacco control law (Law No. 28/2005). The complaint alleged that Philip Morris violated the law by conducting a communication campaign for the IQOS device and the accompanying "HEETS" sticks/inserts. The campaign included details on the product’s characteristics (i.e., how it differs from conventional cigarettes and technology) and purchase options (i.e., where to purchase the device and HEETS and pricing for both). Philip Morris argued that the tobacco control law does not apply to the device because it is not a tobacco product, and the campaign was not advertising but intended for the public interest.

The court held that Philip Morris violated the advertising ban and ordered it to cease the campaign because the published information was a form of communication that had a direct or indirect purpose or effect of promoting a tobacco product. Furthermore, the court emphasized that although the IQOS device is not a tobacco product, it has no other purpose but to be used with a tobacco product. Therefore, promoting the sale of the device is equivalent to promoting tobacco use. 


Altadis v. Philip Morris Spain, SJM M 1157/2019, Commercial Court No. 03 of Madrid (2019)

  • Spain
  • Sep 30, 2019
  • Commercial Court No. 03 of Madrid


Plaintiff Altadis, S.A.

Defendant Philip Morris Spain, S.L.

Legislation Cited

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Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product