Monday, 17 September 2012

Norway's tobacco display ban law upheld by court

The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services announces,
– I am very pleased that the court agreed that a tobacco display ban is a legitimate and appropriate tobacco control measure. This case is an important win for public health, says Norwegian Minister of Health Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen. The Norwegian government will not let the tobacco industry influence our public health policy. It is a given that the tobacco industry are opposed to tobacco control measures that are effective in reducing tobacco use.
The Norwegian tobacco display ban came into effect 1 January 2010. Norway was sued by Phillip Morris Norway in March 2010, who claimed that the ban was incompatible with EEA law (freedom of trade). The case was tried in the Oslo District court in June 2012.
Oslo District Court ruled in the case today and found that the display ban does not constitute a barrier to trade, and even so, it can be justified for public health reasons.
The Norwegian government argued that the display ban constitutes an important measure in order to further reduce tobacco use in general and smoking in particular. It is in line with the FCTC, with new legislation in other EU and EEA states, and it is substantiated by extensive research.
The Ministry of Health is currently translating the judgment, and will publish the English version at the end of next week.

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