Monckton defeats Blackstone in cigarette sales appeal

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has rejected a bid by the tobacco industry to reverse an impending ban on the sale of tobacco products from vending machines.


Dinah Rose QC
Dinah Rose QC

The ruling is a victory for Monckton Chambers’ Nicholas Paine QC, who was instructed to defend the appeal by the Department of Work and Pensions and Department of Health.

Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC was instructed by Ashurst partner Ed Sparrow to lead the judicial review appeal for cigarette vending operator Sinclair Collis.

The Members of the National Association of Cigarette Machine Operators  (NACMO), who intervened in the action, brought in Davies Arnold Cooper partner Alex Megaw, who instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Thomas De La Mare.

The appellants challenged the Health Act 2009 and regulations governing vending machines, arguing that the legislation was disproportionate to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger chaired the three-judge panel hearing the appeal alongside Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Laws. By a ratio of two to one, with Laws LJ dissenting, the appeal was rejected.

The CoA held that the legislation fell within the broad margin of appreciation accorded in the field of public health and was proportionate. In doing so, they upheld the decision of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division Sir Anthony May, who had dismissed the judicial review application at the High Court in December 2010.

The line up:

1st appellant:  Ashurst partner Ed Sparrow instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC to lead Brian Kennelly of the same set for Sinclair Collis.

2nd appellant and intervenor: Davies Arnold Cooper partner Alex Megaw instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Thomas De La Mare to lead Iain Steele of the same set for the National Association of Cigarette Machine Operators  (NACMO).

Respondent: The Department of Work and Pensions and Department of Health Legal Services instructed Nicholas Paines QC of Monckton Chambers to lead Ian Rogers of the same set.