CJEU Advocate General backs Tobacco Directive
The EU Tobacco Directive is lawful, according to an opinion by CJEU Advocate General Kokott
The 2014 directive provides standardised labelling and packaging in the EU, prohibits sales of menthol cigarettes and regulates e-cigarettes.
The packaging requirements affect the shape, size and minimum content of cigarette packets and require health warnings to be more visible. The directive leaves member states free to implement more restrictive plain packaging requirements.
Poland and Romania had challenged aspects of the regulation, while Philip Morris challenged the implementation of the directive in the England and Wales High Court, which referred questions to the CJEU.
According to a CJEU press release,in an opinion covering all the relevant cases, Kokott said the measures in the directive were lawful and proportionate and did not infringe principles of equal treatment, free competition or fundamental rights.
The CJEU is expected to give its judgment in the cases next year.
In the meantime, Philip Morris and other tobacco companies are pursuing a legal challenge to UK legislation introducing plain packaging in the national courts.