A move by the European Commission to outlaw virtually all forms of tobacco advertising and promotion in EU member states has been rejected by the European Court. The decision upholds an opinion expressed in June by the Court’s senior advisor that such a ban would be illegal.

The judgement is a victory for the tobacco lobby, among the most vocal members of which are UK tobacco giants Imperial Tobacco Group, Gallaher Group and British American Tobacco The lobbyists were supported by the German government which argued that a ban would be “a question of survival for parts of the advertising industry in Germany”.

But Clive Bates, director of British anti-smoking pressure group Action on Smoking and Health, disagrees: “People sometimes forget that lives are lost through tobacco advertising. It encourages adults to continue smoking and helps persuade kids to start Through a chain of addiction and then disease tobacco advertising ultimately kills people.”

It is thought probable that the UK government will now draft legislation to implement its own tobacco national advertising ban.

News Source: BBC Online Business News (UK)