Imperial mounts legal bid to prevent cig sales going up in smoke

Imperial Tobacco has launched a legal bid in the Court of Session to block a law banning the open display of cigarettes in shops and which prevents their sale through vending machines.

The Tobacco and Primary medical Services (Scotland) Act was granted Royal Assent in March and follows 2009’s Health Act covering England & Wales.

Large retailers must must remove all their tobacco displays by 2011 with smaller stores granted a stay of execution to 2013.

Imperial’s case rests on claims that the measures fall outwith the legislative jusrisdiction of Holyrood and that their implementation could fuel trade in illicit cigarettes.

The Scottish Government has defended the law and stated that they are proceeding with plans for implementation of the Act.

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