LONDON – A group of tobacco firms have lost a U.K. court bid to prevent the sale of cigarettes in standardized green packaging.
Philip Morris International, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International challenged the legality of the new packages, which bear warnings and graphic images of the dangers of smoking. The companies argued that the packaging destroys property rights and makes their products indistinguishable from one another.
The new regulations come into effect on Friday and are meant to make smoking less glamorous, particularly to young people.
Simon Clark, director of the smokers' group Forest, says the rules "treat adults like children and teenagers like idiots."
Tobacco companies have a year to sell old stock and fully implement the changes under the directive.