Imperial Tobacco v. Lord Advocate (Scotland)

Imperial Tobacco lost this final stage in its legal challenge of Scotland’s legislation to prohibit the display of tobacco products at the point of sale and to ban the sale of tobacco products from vending machines (originally passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2010). Imperial claimed the legislation exceeds Scotland’s powers granted during devolution, such that the legislation was beyond the competency of the Scottish Parliament to pass. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, agreeing with both of the lower courts’ decisions, found all of Imperial’s challenges unfounded and dismissed the appeal.  The Supreme Court found that the law was designed to protect public health by reducing the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products, not prohibit their sale.