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Imperial Tobacco's legal challenge rejected

Posted by: Laurence Simons 20/12/12

Shops in Scotland are to be banned from displaying cigarettes after a legal challenge by Imperial Tobacco - one of the largest firms of its kind in the UK - was rejected by the country's supreme court following a period of consultation.

Unfortunately the tobacco manufacturer did not take the exciting new tack of suggesting that its products have a palliative effect, or claiming that they encourage healthy levels of growth in small children, but instead argued that the Scottish parliament does not have the constitutional powers to introduce any new laws which control the sale and supply of goods, as that power is held by its counterpart in the UK.

As a devolved power created in 1998, there are certain decisions that the Edinburgh-based executive is indeed unable to make; however, the court ruled that this is not one of them.

The judgement indicated that the legislative body is simply trying to protect the health of the Scottish populace, although it failed to touch upon the devastation being wreaked across the Highlands by deep-fried chocolate bars.

Scottish public health minister Michael Matheson said the parliament will seek to recover its legal costs from the company.

"We know that reducing the number of people that smoke will have wide benefits for Scotland's health and these bans will play a crucial role in preventing young people from taking up smoking," he added.