Imperial Tobacco’s appeal was unanimously dismissed by three senior judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh today.
The company’s civil action, which also opposed a ban on tobacco vending machines, delayed the implementation of the Scottish Government’s measures which are aimed at stopping young people from taking up smoking.
No date has not been established prohibitions should be given in Imperial Tobacco, and does not rule out further appeal against the decision.
The latest decision of the court was nevertheless welcomed the Scottish Health Minister Michael Matheson, who said that the proposals will play a “key role” in preventing youth from starting to smoke.
The Scottish Parliament has supported measures against tobacco and primary health care (Scotland) in January 2010, which was granted Royal Assent in two months.
Bristol-Imperial went to court to try to overturn the plans, arguing that they are beyond the scope of the legislative Hollywood. The judge rejected the arguments of the company in September 2010, saying nothing, the problems were “justified”.
Imperial, the company behind Lambert and Butler cigarette brands Richmond, appealed the decision, but his case was again rejected today. The ruling gave judges the top of Scotland, Lord President, Lord Hamilton, sitting with Lords Reed and Brodie.
Lord Hamilton said the ban on the display. “Such a display is planned to encourage the purchase of products such as consumption, in particular, smoking of such products is considered to be detrimental to health, the first part is intended to suppress, without the prohibition of the purchase.”
He added that the proposed vending machine ban related to the “ready access” by children and young people to tobacco products.
He wrote: “Such ready access is conceived to be harmful as it facilitates the acquisition and ultimate smoking, by children and young persons, of tobacco products.
“Section nine is designed, again by a criminal sanction, to prevent children and young people, as well as other persons, from having such ready access to tobacco products.
“The risk that tobacco uses is perceived to provide a healthy, first of all smokers as consumers, but also those non-smokers, who may be exposed to smoke-filled environment, and exposure to secondhand smoke, suffering adverse love.” He said it was not without significance that Westminster has made similar arrangements for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
MRL Matheson said he was “delighted” with the ruling. “Every year in Scotland 15,000 children and young people start smoking and the potential impact on their health is terrible,” he said.
“A child who starts smoking at age 15 or younger is three times more likely to die from cancer as a result, than someone who starts smoking at the age of 20 years.
“It is in the context of protecting future generations from the devastating effects of smoking, that the measures outlined in our Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 should be considered.
“The ban on the sale of tobacco products from vending machines and a ban on showing smoking and smoking-related products in the stores play a crucial role in preventing the children of today become tomorrow smokers.”
The Scottish government spokesman said they were not able to set a date for the ban They brought some legal problems with the ban on cigarette machines, shopping, picked up another company, still in the courts.
Imperial Tobacco does not preclude the adoption of a new appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the company said that it is necessary to look at the decision in detail before making a decision. A spokesman said: “Obviously we’re disappointed; we consider the solution to its appeal.”
Anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland welcomed the ruling. Chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “It was a typically cynical attempt to undermine our democratically elected parliament in Scotland, over the years of accumulated scientific data and well-being of the Scottish people, purely to protect their profits.
“Tobacco is not a normal product. It kills half of those who use it and damage the health of those exposed to it it’s not by choice.”
Vicky Crichton, Cancer Research UK public affairs manager, said: ” We welcome this decision to the Court of Appeal judge, we hope that this decision allows Scotland to move forward with plans to protect future generations of children, putting tobacco out of sight and out of mind.
“One in two long-term smokers will die prematurely because of smoking and most are dependent, as teenagers, so it’s very important that everything possible is done to make cigarettes less attractive to children.”