Sociedad Uruguaya de Tabacología v. Executive Branch of the Uruguayan State
Sociedad Uruguaya de Tabacología v. Executive Branch of the Uruguayan State - AMPARO, IUE 2-54452/2022, Family Court [Juzgado Letrado de Familia] (2022).
- Oct 19, 2022
- Family Court
Plaintiff Sociedad Uruguaya de Tabacología (SUT)
Defendant Executive Branch of the Uruguayan State
Decree No. 282/022
Law No. 17.823 - Code for Children and Adolescents
Type of Litigation
Challenge to Government Policies Relating to Tobacco Control/Public Health
Tobacco companies or front groups may challenge any legislative or regulatory measure that affects their business interests. Unlike public interest litigation, these cases seek to weaken health measures. These cases frequently involve the industry proceeding against the government. For example, a group of restaurant owners challenging a smoke free law as unconstitutional.
Tobacco Control Topics
Packaging and Labeling Measures
Measures to regulate the marketing on tobacco packages. This includes both bans on false, misleading, deceptive packaging, as well as required health warnings on packaging. (See FCTC Art. 11)
Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
Measures restricting any form of direct or indirect tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. (See FCTC Art. 13)
Type of Tobacco Product
Sociedad Uruguaya de Tabacología (SUT) challenged Decree No. 282/022, issued by the executive branch, that modified Decree No. 120/019, regulating the Plain Packaging Law of tobacco products. While an administrative tribunal (Tribunal de lo Contencioso Administrativo) is considering the initial challenge, SUT also filed a rapid constitutional challenge, called an “amparo,” requesting suspension of the decree until the administrative challenge is decided. The amparo was filed in Family Court based on the Code for Children and Adolescents (CAN), which explains “the State has the obligation to especially protect children and adolescents from all forms of encouragement to tobacco consumption.” With regard to the amparo, the court decided in favor of SUT because the Decree fails to meet the objectives of the law that established plain packaging by not achieving the “plain” packaging design and labeling mandate. The Court concluded that any measures related to tobacco packaging, motivated by whatever reasons, must always consider the children and adolescents’ “best interest”, avoiding the violation of their rights to health, to a smoke-free environment and to a special protection from the encouragement of tobacco consumption.