The tobacco giant today lost its attempt to get tobacco and snuff visibly on sale again in Norway after Oslo District Court ruled there had been no breach of the EEA agreement.
Communications Director for Philip Morris Nordan Helland released a statement revealing how the company is “disappointed with the court's decision and are considering our options for appeal."
The company, which attempted to sue the Norwegian state alleging concealing tobacco products contravenes competition law, also claims that smuggling has increased while consumption remains the same as a result of Norway not having tobacco on display.
“We still believe that visibility prohibition does not provide health benefits, and that wed to presenting legal goods in Norway should be allowed,” NRK reports Mr Helland as saying.
Norwegian researchers argue the veto, which came into force on 01 January 2010, has led to fewer smokers and a reduction in tobacco sales.
In the same year, a leaked proposal by the Ministry of Health and Care suggested allocating 19 million kroner towards a mass media campaign against smoking for reasons of public health. Government officials also wanted to tighten Norway’s anti-smoking law further.
An aggressive campaign was launched at the beginning of 2012. Many Norwegian companies have failed in their desire to completely ban smoking at work.
General secretary of the Cancer Association Anne Lise Ryel told NTB she is pleased with today's decision by the court to allow Norway to keep tobacco out of sight.
“The result was what we had hoped and believed. We are incredibly happy that it must be possible for the authorities to take account of public health as has been done with the ban. The outcome in the District Court is also extremely important in the fight against the use of tobacco products globally.”
Research director Karl Erik Lund at Norway’s Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (Sirius), who testified as an expert witness for the state, declared about today's court decision that, “This verdict sends a signal that it's possible to win over the mighty tobacco industry,"
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