Tobacco company initiates legal action against Irish Government – – Our News, Your Views

Tobacco company initiates legal action against Irish Government

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The Japan Tobacco group, owners of Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut brands, has launched a High Court legal action against the Government in a bid to prevent the introduction of plain cigarette packs.

The group has served legal papers with the Chief State Solicitor’s Office. This action comes three weeks after President Higgins signedsigned into law the banning of all branded packaging by the year 2017.

It is understood that the group’s Irish subsidiary, JTI Ireland, is challenging the legislation on grounds of competence.

But there are deeper and vested ramifications to this action, as it follows a long and sustained lobbying campaign against law by the global tobacco industry.

JTI Ireland is poised to argue that the State had no right to enact such legislation, as it goes further than the provisions of an EU directive, according to them.

When asked about the impending action, Minister for Children James Reilly -the legislation’s architect-, said: “We will defend it robustly in the firm belief and it’s in the best interest of the health and welfare of the public, especially of children.”

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