Neutral-packaging challenge

| September 27, 2017

Swedish Match is taking the Norwegian state to court as it seeks an injunction to delay, in respect of snus, the introduction of what is being referred to as ‘neutral’ tobacco packaging, according to a story in thelocal.no quoting an NTB news agency report.

A law, which came in to effect on July 1, requires all tobacco companies to offer all their tobacco products in only neutral [standardized or plain] packaging by July 1, 2018.

But Swedish Match wants a temporary injunction to be imposed in respect of snus.

The company, which is due in court on Monday, claims that the requirement set down by the Norwegian government is in breach of EEC free trade rules, and that the deadline for the new packaging must therefore be delayed until the EEC issue has been resolved.

“Regulation that constitutes such a strong intervention as standardized packaging is not in proportion to the possible health risks associated with snus,” Swedish Match spokesperson Patrik Hildingsson told the VG newspaper earlier this year.

But Norway’s minister for health Bent Høie told the newspaper that he was not surprised by lawsuits from tobacco companies in the wake of the regulation introduced on July 1.

“They did it in Australia, France and the United Kingdom, and lost everywhere,” Høie told VG.

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Category: Breaking News, Litigation, Markets, OTP

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