EDINBURGH, Scotland -- U.K. appellate judges ruled in favor of the Scottish government€™s planned ban on open cigarette displays, rejecting a legal challenge by Imperial Tobacco, BBC News reports.
The tobacco firm had said the ban was not within the legislative powers of Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament. The government was waiting until after the court ruled to implement the ban.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said by a ban on the display of cigarettes would assist in preventing "the children of today becoming tomorrow€™s smokers." In the ruling, Lord Hamilton (one of the justices), said that "such display is conceived to encourage the purchase of such products. As the consumption, particularly by smoking, of such products is believed to be adverse to health, the section is designed to inhibit, without prohibiting, their purchase."
The justices decided that the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 was well within the authority of the Scottish Parliament. The government ban would prohibit open cigarette displays at the retail level and also forbid vending machines from selling tobacco.
In Britain, four tobacco companies withdrew their complaints against a proposed tobacco display ban after the government decided to put off implementation and to revise some of the rules.