Canada high court upholds tobacco ad restrictions

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] unanimously upheld a federal restriction on tobacco advertisements [judgment text] Thursday, finding it did not violate the free expression rights of tobacco companies. The suit was brought by the JTI-Macdonald, Rothmans, and Imperial Tobacco Canada [corporate websites], which challenged Canada's 1997 Tobacco Act [text], a statute which heavily limits tobacco advertisements in the country. The Court held that there are still some venues open for tobacco advertising, but a lawyer for Imperial Tobacco told the CBC that Canadians "will never see a billboard or television ad" for tobacco products. The companies are free to advertise to adults in age-restricted places where young people are forbidden, in certain adult publications, and in mailings sent directly to adults. The Canadian Cancer Society, which joined the case [brief, PDF], has applauded the decision [press release].

Thursday's decision brings to an end a decade-long legal challenge [CBC backgrounder]. In 2005, the Quebec Court of Appeal granted tobacco companies the right to sponsor events using their company names [JURIST report], but upheld the ban on using tobacco brand names. The Canadian federal government, as well as numerous provincial governments, supported the ban. CBC has more. CP has additional coverage.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.