Norway: Tobacco point of sale verdict – victory for health

Friday 14 September 2012

Philip Morris International (PMI) has today lost its legal challenge to a key element of Norway’s tobacco control legislation – a ban on the display of tobacco products at the point of sale.

The world’s largest tobacco manufacturer had challenged Norway’s law on the grounds that it was damaging its business and reduced customer choice. But research shows that the measure which has been in place for almost 2 years has popular support and is helping to deter young people from taking up smoking. [ref]

Commenting on the industry’s defeat, Deborah Arnott, ASH’s Chief Executive said:

“This ruling is a victory for public health and a major defeat for the tobacco industry. PMI’s legal challenge is typical of Big Tobacco’s bully boy tactics of picking on small countries in an attempt to overturn or destabilise health policy. Invariably this fails as we have seen today.”

Notes and Links:
[1] Link to court ruling:
[2] A review of Norway’s tobacco point of sale ban has revealed a high degree of compliance with the law by retailers and popular support for the measure including among a third of smokers. The overall perception was that the measure is contributing to the de-normalisation of smoking, particularly among young people.
Scheffels J & Lavik R. Out of sight, out of mind? Removal of point-of-sale tobacco displays in Norway. Tobacco Control June 2012l doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050341