Bid to delay tobacco ads ban

Judgment is pending in the latest High Court moves by tobacco giants Imperial, Gallagher, Rothmans UK and British American Tobacco to block implementation of the European Tobacco Advertising Directive in the UK. The companies say the Government should wait for the European Court to rule on the matter before introducing the ban. Jonathan Sumption QC for the companies told Mr Justice Michael Turner that the UK was under no obligation to bring the ban in until July 2001. He said that while it was considered that enforcing the ban would seriously infringe the legal rights of the companies, if it was later held to be invalid by the European Court, delaying implementation would cause no significant harm to the Government.