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Ankur Gutkha v. India Asthma Care Society [India] [April 03, 2013]
The Court directed State Governments that have banned the sale and manufacture of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco to file compliance reports and State Governments that have not banned such sales to file affidavits stating why they have not implemented a ban.
Judicial Review of Law No. 36 of 2009, Ruling in Case No. 24 [Indonesia] [September 05, 2012]
Officials from a local Indonesian farming administration and their representative farmers challenged the constitutionality of Article 113 of Indonesia’s Health law. The farmers claimed the law excluded any beneficial uses for tobacco and thus severely damaged their livelihoods as tobacco farmers. The court accepted the arguments and found that tobacco also has other beneficial uses despite its dangers to human health. The court granted the petition holding parts of Article 113 unconstitutional and suggesting a changing of the wording to embody the court’s ruling.
Judicial Review of Law No. 36 of 2009, Ruling in Case No. 66 [Indonesia] [September 05, 2012]
Petitioners, Indonesian tobacco farmers and workers in the tobacco industry, filed a constitutional challenge to Indonesia’s Health law that regulated the use of tobacco. After establishing the right of the petitioners to challenge the law, the court looked at previous challenges to the same law. The court decided that petitioners’ challenge was close enough to previous, already decided challenges, to preclude this case and rejected the petition.
Miraj Products Pvt. Ltd. v. Indian Asthama Care Society & Ors. [India] [February 17, 2011]
The Court heard several interim applications concerning a previous Court order that called for the notification of rules to restrain manufacturers of gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala from using plastic material in the sachets of their products. The Court found there was no justification to modify the order and rejected the petitioner's request to extend the implementation date. The Court, however, accepted an application that prayed for leave to challenge the rules and to seek direction to the Ministry of Environments and Forests to identify alternative forms of safe packaging for gutkha, tobacco and pan masala.
Ankur Gutkha v. Indian Asthama Care Society & Ors. [India] [December 07, 2010]
Ankur Gutkha appealed a High Court decision in which the Indian Asthama Society sought to ban the sale of gutkha and prohibit the use of plastic sachet packaging for gutkha. In this Order, the Supreme Court, among other things, restrained gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala manufacturers from using plastic materials in the sachets of their products and requested that a study be conducted on the harmful effects of gutkha tobacco, pan masala and similar articles.
Indian Asthama Care Society & Or. v. Rajasthan & Ors. [India] [August 29, 2007]
The Indian Asthama Care Society and other plaintiffs in similar cases sought to restrain the manufacturers of gutkha, tobacco, and pan masala from selling their products in plastic sachets and urged the Court to impose a fine on the manufacturers for the pollution caused by the sachets. The Court, deciding for all the cases, recognized the danger of plastic to the environment and emphasized the right of all people to unpolluted environment and the State's obligation to protect the environment. The Court ordered an examination of the sachets to determine whether they contain plastic and stated that if they do, the manufacturers must pay a fine. Furthermore, the Court restrained the manufacturers from using plastic material in their sachets and ordered them to comply "in letter and spirit" with Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition Advertisements and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COPTA).
Slatkine, et al. v. Grand Conseil of the Canton of Geneva [Switzerland] [March 28, 2007]
Ivan Slatkine and others sued the Grand Conseil of the Canton of Geneva regarding the constitutionality of a popular initiative titled “Second-hand smoke and health.” The initiative highlights the hazards linked to second-hand smoke and the need to protect the staff of public establishments as well as the persons frequenting them. The legislative commission of the Grand Conseil (Commission) declared the initiative to be unconstitutional in part because it sought an outright ban of smoking in all public places. The Commission remedied the provision by carving out an exception for residential premises intended predominantly for private use. Slatkine and others filed a constitutional complaint, asking the court to find the ban unconstitutional as it is against worker protection and personal freedom. They also argued that the Commission’s exception was against the intent of the authors. The Court explained that the exception did not distort the authors’ intentions because it maintained the prohibition of smoking in nearly all public places. Further, the Court dismissed the argument that the exception is contrary to superior law or infringes on personal freedom. Notably, the Court cited Article 8 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which calls for smoke-free public places. The Court stated that as soon as the Treaty was ratified, recognition of the harmful effects of tobacco smoke will constitute an international obligation for Switzerland. The Court upheld the provision.
Brenes Corrales v. Costa Rica, et al. [Costa Rica] [October 06, 2006]
The plaintiff filed an appeal for legal protection, claiming that the production and sale of cigarettes cause serious damages to health and the environment. The plaintiff demanded that the State, public agencies and private businesses prevent the sale of these products. The plaintiff additionally claimed that because he and his children suffered from asthma and he had experienced cardiorespiratory arrests allegedly related to health effects of tobacco smoke, his rights to life and equal protection were violated. He argued that it is the State's obligation to ensure a clean environment. The Court dismissed his appeal arguing that smoking is a legal activity and found the current legislation to be proportional and reasonable.
Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Co., et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. [United States] [December 11, 2002]
Several tobacco manufacturers sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), challenging a report declaring that tobacco was a known human carcinogen. The district court ruled in favor of tobacco companies and the EPA appealed, arguing that the district court incorrectly held that the report was a final, reviewable agency decision. The Court agreed, dismissing the case.
Ramakrishnan and Anr. v. State of Kerala And Ors. [India] [July 12, 1999]
Plaintiff, K. Ramakrishnan, sought to have smoking declared a criminal public nuisance under the Indian Penal Code. The High Court of Kerala reviewed the existing literature on the health threat posed by smoking and environmental tobacco smoke and urged the Government of India to fulfill its obligations under pre-FCTC WHO resolutions. While the court declined to order the government to enact conforming legislation, it declared smoking in public a punishable offense in Kerala and concluded that smoking in public violated the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.