Imperial stubs out plans for Supreme Court battle on tobacco packaging rules
Big Tobacco's battle against the Government's crackdown on cigarette packaging has taken a blow after a second company stubbed out plans to take its case to the Supreme Court Cigarettes Wholesale Online.
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The decision by Imperial, the maker of Gauloises and Lambert Butler cigarettes, leaves just two of the big four tobacco companies still considering whether to take the Government to the Supreme Court over the rules, which came into force in May.
Since then, cigarette firms have been required to manufacture products in standardised "plain" khaki packaging sporting prominent health warnings Duty Free Marlboro Cigarettes. All tobacco products sold in the UK from next May must comply with the rules.
Imperial joins Philip Morris International in reluctantly accepting the tobacco branding crackdown after a failed court challenge in May lead to an unsuccessful legal appeal last month.
A spokesman for Imperial told the Sunday Telegraph: "We maintain our firmly held view that plain packaging is not an effective tobacco control policy but we have chosen not to seek permission to escalate our legal challenge in the UK to the Supreme Court."
British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International (JTI) will reveal "any day now" whether they will continue to fight the rules which came into effect in April Buy Cigarettes Online Cheap, an industry source said.
But Imperial's decision to walk away from the fight despite relying on the UK for around 15pc of its total earnings raises questions over the commitment of BAT which earns less than 1pc of its takings from Britain.
JTI also has a 15pc exposure to the market and has been the most outspoken against the legislation which its UK boss Daniel Sciamma has branded "commercial vandalism" which "sets a dangerous precedent for other targeted industries" Cheapest Marlboro Cigarettes.
Imperial said it plans to focus on maintaining its market share in the face of rising legislation and will invest more heavily in its specialist brands such e-cigarettes and non-tobacco vaping products Cigarettes For Sale Online.
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