Norway says no to Philip Morris displays, yes to health
OSLO, Norway - Global tobacco giant Philip Morris on Friday lost its attempt to overturn a ban in Norway on the display of cigarettes in stores.
Following in the footsteps of several other countries such as Ireland and Iceland, Norway in 2010 banned the display of cigarettes in stores in an attempt to cut impulse buys of tobacco products.
Cigarettes were banished to closed cases and cigarette dispensers that do not show brand labels.
Philip Morris argued in a lawsuit filed in June that the ban violates European competition rules and would not lead to a reduction in the number of smokers, but an Oslo court rejected the complaint.
"There is no clear proof that the display ban will not contribute to a future reduction of tobacco consumption in Norway," the court said in its ruling.
"The court is therefore of the opinion that the measure is appropriate in order to preserve the nation's health," it added.
However a spokeswoman for the company that makes Marlboro and L&M cigarettes said they planned to appeal the ruling.
The display ban "restricts information about a legal product, restricts competition, and makes it hard for us to introduce new products into the market,: said Anne Edwards, Director of External Communications for Philip Morris International. - Agence France-Presse