European court rules minimum cigarette prices illegal

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 16 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1498
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

    It is illegal for European governments to impose minimum retail prices on cigarettes as a deterrent against smoking, the European Court of Justice has ruled. However, the Luxembourg based judges confirmed that it is quite legitimate to impose heavy taxes on tobacco products to discourage consumption.

    The ruling came in cases the European Commission had brought against France, Austria, and Ireland, all of which have imposed minimum prices on cigarettes, expressed …

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