LANGUAGE

Re Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited v. Australian Federation of Consumer Organizations Inc

This was an appeal from the decision of a single judge dismissing an application by the Tobacco Institute of Australia (TIA) to have these proceedings struck out. The proceedings related to the publication of a newspaper advertisement by the TIA stating that "(T)here is little evidence and nothing which proves scientifically that cigarette smoking causes disease in non-smokers;"  and"The London Times reported findings from the Institute of Cancer Research in Surrey, England ... that 'passive smoking' for life-long non-smokers causes no significant increase in the risk of lung cancer, bronchitis or heart disease ... The Institute's conclusions are based on a wealth of statistical detail from a study involving 12,000 people."

The plaintiff brought these proceedings against the TIA alleging that the advertisement was misleading and deceptive in contravention of the Trade Practices Act. The TIA sought to have the proceedings struck out as an abuse of process because it said the matter had already been fully investigated and determined by the Trade Practices Commission. Burchett J dismissed the TIA's arguments in the earlier decision (see: Re Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations Inc v. Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited [1988] FCA 183 (7 June 1988)).

In this decision, the Full Court of the Federal Court upheld Burchett J's decision and dismissed the TIA's appeal with costs.

See further: Re Australian Federation of Consumer Organisations Inc v. Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited [1991] FCA 17 (7 February 1991).