A ban on tobacco sponsorship in Canada will go ahead as planned next year after a court dismissed an appeal by three cigarette giants against the law to introduce it.

Rothmans Benson & Hedges (owned by Rothmans and Philip Morris), Imperial Tobacco (part of British American Tobacco) and JTI-Macdonald (a unit of Japan Tobacco) had hoped to overturn sections of the 1998 Tobacco Act on the grounds they were unconstitutional [WAMN: 16-Jan-02].

Under this legislation, the portrayal of tobacco as glamorous or sexy in ads is outlawed, and cigarette packets must carry graphic health warnings. In addition, a ban on sponsorship of sporting events is due to come into force in October 2003.

The Quebec Superior Court backed these laws, ruling that tobacco firms’ rights to advertise could “not be given the same legitimacy as the federal government's duty to protect public health.” Imperial is mulling an appeal.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff