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Pending Litigation Brought by Multinational Tobacco Companies against Governments

The International Legal Consortium at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids maintains a list of tobacco-related litigation currently before courts and tribunals around the world. This list contains claims challenging tobacco control measures that have been brought by the largest multinational tobacco firms through either the parent company or direct affiliate (unless otherwise noted). While we have attempted to include all legal challenges brought by multinational tobacco firms against governments, we cannot guarantee that this list is exhaustive.

Country

Claimant/Plaintiff

General Claim

Procedural Status

Last Updated

Bangladesh

Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers Association (Members include BAT)

The tobacco industry appealed a judgment declaring illegal a National Tobacco Control Cell notification that allowed the printing of the graphic health warning on the bottom 50% of tobacco packs and packages.

Matter is pending - one in the Appellate Division and the other in the High Court Division.

09/26/2018
Brazil

Souza Cruz Ltda. (BAT)

The tobacco industry challenged the constitutionality of the requirement of including a 30% text health warning in the front face of the packs.

Submitted in May 2017. Pending before 7.ª Vara Federal do Distrito Federal. ACT submitted an amicus brief in September 2017.

02/01/2018
Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of New Brunswick. 

The case was filed in March 2016.

12/03/2017
Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of Nova Scotia.

The case was filed in May 2015.

12/03/2017
Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada challenged a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes, in the province of Quebec.

The case was filed in February 2016.

12/03/2017
Canada

Imperial Tobacco Canada

Imperial Tobacco filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were issued in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory pictorial health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements to be displayed on cigarette packages.

The lawsuit was filed on April 25, 2012.

02/01/2018
Canada

JTI-Macdonald Corp.

JTI Macdonald filed a lawsuit challenging Canada’s Tobacco Products Labelling Regulations, which were issued in 2011. The Regulations increase the size of mandatory pictorial health warnings to 75% of the package. The Regulations also require health information messages and toxic emissions statements to be displayed on cigarette packages.

The lawsuit was filed on April 3, 2012.

02/01/2018
Colombia

Coltabaco (PMI)

The tobacco industry is seeking to invalidate a local ordinance that banned the sale of tobacco products near educational and public health institutions in Popayan.

Pending. However, the local ordinance is not currently being enforced because of another claim submitted by an individual citizen that has represented the tobacco industry in other cases but is acting on his own behalf in this case. 

07/02/2018
European Union

Swedish Match

Swedish Match has brought a legal challenge against the European Union ban on moist snuff.

The case was referred to the European High Court of Justice on January 26, 2017.

03/01/2018
Israel

JUUL Israel

JUUL Israel filed a petition challenging the government's recent decision to ban the import and sale of JUUL, an e-cigarette, in Israel.

The petition was filed with the High Court of Justice on August 23, 2018.

08/24/2018
India

Godfrey Philips (Exclusive license with PMI for sale of Marlboro); ITC, Ltd (BAT owns 29% of shares); and others

The tobacco industry challenged the validity of the 2014 rules that require 85% graphic health warnings on both sides of tobacco product packaging.

Lower court ruled in favor of the tobacco industry.  Government and health groups appealed to the Supreme Court of India.  Petition submitted in January 2018.  Supreme Court stayed operation of lower court decision.  Matter to be decided soon on the merits.

07/03/2018
Kenya

British American Tobacco Kenya Ltd.

BAT Kenya sued the Kenya government to void the Tobacco Control Regulations 2014 in their entirety, which include the following measures:

  • Solatium compensatory annual contribution (2% of the value of tobacco products manufactured or imported)  
  • Protections against public-tobacco industry interactions
  • Requirement for picture-based health warnings including the lack of technical repository given to BAT and the compliance date
  • Smoking ban in “streets, walkways, verandas adjacent to” public places
  • Requirement for owners to apply for certificate of compliance for designated smoking areas
  • Tobacco product and industry disclosures.

The High Court of Kenya issued a ruling in favor of the government on March 24, 2016. The Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s decision on February 17, 2017. BAT Kenya then appealed to the Supreme Court. After issuing an order on March 9, 2017 staying the decision of the appeals court while the appeal is pending, the Supreme Court heard the case on April 26, 2018. The Supreme Court decision is pending.

05/10/2018
Philippines

Philippine Tobacco Institute (Members include PMI and JTI companies)

The tobacco industry has challenged a City of Balanga ordinance creating a tobacco-free generation, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to any person born on or after January 1, 2000.  

The case is pending at a Regional Trial Court. 

07/10/2018
Philippines

Philippine Tobacco Institute (Members include PMI and JTI companies)

The tobacco industry has challenged as unconstitutional and invalid a City of Balanga ordinance making the City's 80-hectare University Town and its 3 kilometer radius tobacco-free, where the sale, use and marketing of tobacco products and e-cigarettes are banned. Balanga's mayor has indicated that the decision would be appealed.

PTI filed the case on July 31, 2017 and a decision from a Regional Trial Court was issued in July 2018.

07/10/2018
Pakistan

Pakistan Tobacco Company Ltd. (a subsidiary of BAT)

Pakistan Tobacco Company (a subsidiary of British American Tobacco) challenges the recently mandated 50% graphic health warning requirement.

During the initial hearing in this matter, the court refused to stay implementation of the 50% graphic health warnings.  Additional hearings in near future.

09/26/2018
Pakistan

Society for Alternative Media & Research (SAMAR) (as petitioner requesting government to implement 85% warnings); Pakistan Tobacco Company (a subsidiary of BAT) (as third party intervenor requesting government to NOT implement 85% warnings)

The Ministry of Health has delayed implementation of 85% graphic health warnings on several occasions, and, as of the date of this review, the 85% health warnings have yet to be implemented. Public health groups have challenged this delay in the Islamabad High Court, and the Pakistan Tobacco Company, a BAT subsidiary, has joined the case as third party.  In December 2017, the MOH notified 50% graphic health warnings which went into effect in June 2018.  Notwithstanding the new 50% warnings, the challenge to the 85% warnings remains pending.

The matter remains pending.  Additional hearings in the near future.

07/03/2018
Thailand

JT International Company (Thailand), Limited
JT International SA

Tobacco manufacturers brought case to stop the Minister of Public Health from implementing a rule that would expand the size of the combined picture and text health warnings from 55% to 85% of the front and back of cigarette packaging.

On May 29, 2014, the court ruled that the rule requiring larger health warnings should remain in effect until the court issues a final decision on the merits of the case.

07/03/2018
Uganda

BAT Uganda Ltd.

Constitutional challenge to most of the provisions of Uganda’s 2015 Tobacco Control Act, including:

  • minimum pictorial health warnings of 65% of the package;
  • a smoking ban;
  • prohibitions on the sale of tobacco products in specified locations and on the sale of smokeless tobacco, shisha, and ENDS;
  • prohibitions on retail product displays and vending machine sales;
  • prohibitions on privileges and incentives to the tobacco industry;
  • a two-year year cooling off period before moving from government with responsibility for tobacco control to the tobacco industry or from the tobacco industry to government with responsibility for tobacco control; and
  • provisions for criminal and forfeiture penalties.

The Constitutional Court denied BAT’s application for a temporary injunction on March 15, 2017 following a combined hearing on the injunction application and on the merits of the underlying petition on May 10, 2017. The Court has not yet issued a decision on the main petition.

02/01/2018
United States

Cyclops Vapor 2, LLC
Tiger Vapor, LLC
Karma S Clouds, LLC

E-cigarettes companies challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

The case was filed on July 8, 2016.

02/01/2018
United States

Lost Art Liquids, LLC

A manufacturer of e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 

The case was filed on May 19, 2016.

02/01/2018
United States

Enrique Fernando Sanchez Icaza
Global Premium Cigars, LLC

A cigar company challenged the FDA rule “deeming” other tobacco products to be subject to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. 

The case was filed on June 1, 2016. The court granted a joint motion to stay the proceedings on July 31, 2017 in light of the FDA's new regulatory plan. Either party can move to have the case reopened.

07/23/2018
Uruguay

British American Tobacco Ltd.

British American Tobacco is challenging the executive decree requiring plain packaging of tobacco products. BAT objected on the grounds that the decree goes beyond the bounds of executive power.

Following a constitutional challenge submitted by BAT, a rapid decision was made on September 18, 2018 to suspend implementation while the administrative claim is pending.

09/20/2018

 

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