LANGUAGE

Heisei 10 Tobacco Ban Case

A group of plaintiffs, including smokers and non-smokers, brought action against Japan Tobacco, Inc (JTI). Plaintiffs alleged that, by manufacturing, importing, and distributing tobacco products, JTI violated their constitutional rights to life and health, and therefore, JTI must refrain from such activities. The plaintiffs also argued that the warning labels on tobacco package could not effectively warn consumers about the risk of smoking, and requested the court to officially warn JTI for harming consumers' health. The Court held that although a long period of smoking can cause health problems and that secondhand smoking had a strong correlation with various diseases, the evidence presented was insufficient to establish causation. The evidence did not prove that JTI's activities caused the plaintiffs' health problems. The Court concluded that plaintiffs had no standing to raise constitutional complaints about JTIs activities and that because of the lack of sufficient causation between JTI's activities and plaintiffs' health problems, there was no ground to issue an official warning against JTI. The plaintiffs' requests were denied.