BAT’s statement on the Court of Justice of the European Union judgment on the EU Tobacco Products Directive
4 May 2016
A British American Tobacco spokesperson said: “We’ve always said that we support sound regulation that is consultative, evidence-based, delivers its policy aims and that respects our legal rights as a legal business selling a legal product.
“Despite the decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, we stand by our belief that the Tobacco Products Directive is a clear example of the European Union (EU) overstepping the limits of its authority. The reality is that many elements of the Directive are disproportionate, distort competition and fail to respect the autonomy of the Member States.
“It’s also important to remember that this decision does not endorse claims by some that the Directive authorises Member States to adopt plain packaging.
“In particular, what is clear from the Directive and the judgment is that measures that go beyond the requirements of the Directive, such as plain packaging, must still comply with the wider principles of EU and international law. Whether plain packaging meets these requirements is currently the subject of ongoing litigation before the English Courts and the World Trade Organisation.
“We urge the governments in all Member States to carefully consider how they will now interpret the Directive in to their own national law, and take in to account all of the implementation costs.
“Governments who are considering plain packaging should ask themselves – can they really justify introducing a policy that has no hard data to prove that it actually works to reduce smoking?”