Courts push back against might of Big Tobacco
Africa's courts are getting wise to the strategy of Big Tobacco in trying to fight off strict control over issues such as the size of health warnings on packaging. Uganda's Constitutional Court has just dismissed a major attack brought by British American Tobacco (BAT) on laws that increase the size of health warnings, impose tough restrictions on where smoking is lawful, and hold tobacco company officials personally responsible when certain sections of the law are infringed. As Carmel Rickard explains in her A Matter of Justice column on the Legalbrief site, the court referred to a report on how such companies fight tobacco control, and the list of strategies included many in evidence in this case. Dismissing the petition, the court said it was 'part of a global strategy' by BAT and its tobacco-selling peers to undermine laws in order to increase profits despite the risk of tobacco to the health of the 'human population'.