Tobacco companies win delay on advertising ban
Tobacco companies in the United Kingdom have succeeded in delaying the ban on tobacco advertisements on billboards and in newspapers and magazines, which was due to start on 10 December.
The companies-Imperial, Gallaher, Rothmans UK, and British American Tobacco-challenged the validity of the European directive on tobacco advertising, and their challenge has been upheld in the High Court by Mr Justice Turner.
The court decided that the government had acted hastily in not waiting for a ruling from the European court. The directive was agreed by the European Union in July 1998, and in June 1999 the UK government brought in regulations to implement the directive two years ahead of the EU timetable The secretary of state for health, Alan Milburn, said that he was disappointed at the decision and that the government would appeal against the judgment. If the appeal fails, Britain will have to wait until the European