The Government will bring in a ban on tobacco advertising within 21
days if the House of Lords upholds its right to outlaw tobacco
Ministers are certain that the law lords will approve the ban. They will
then rush through the regulations in the shortest possible time, giving
tobacco companies and agencies just three weeks to pull tobacco
An Appeal Court ruling last month overturned a previous High Court
judgment, blocking the ban on the grounds that ministers had jumped the
gun ahead of a challenge in the European Court to the EU’s directive
bringing in a ban.
Alan Milburn, the health secretary, hoped to end tobacco ads last week
following the Appeal Court ruling. But the court ruled that ads should
continue until the Lords gave the final verdict on the legal action
brought by four tobacco companies.
No date has yet been set for the Lords hearing, but ministers hope
advertising will end within two or three months. They had originally
scheduled the ban to take effect on 10 December 1999.
Milburn said: ’This is a victory for public health. Banning tobacco
advertising is widely supported both by the public and by the medical
profession - now we have the backing of the courts.’
The appeal judges, by a two-to-one majority, ruled it was not for the
courts to interfere with the Government’s decision to implement its
pledge to ban tobacco ads in the interests of public health.
John Carlisle, spokesman for the Tobacco Manufacturers Association,
said: ’We live to fight another day, having lost on a penalty shoot-out.
We are obviously pleased that the decision made by the court was not