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Souza Cruz v. ACT Brazil [Brazil] [September 28, 2012]
Souza Cruz, a tobacco company, sought to prevent ACT Brazil, a public health NGO, from publishing a video criticizing the placement of tobacco products near candies, gum and other products popular with children. Souza Cruz argued that the video suggested the company was encouraging the criminal act of selling cigarettes to minors. The court ruled that the video did not target the company specifically but was instead generally advocating for greater restrictions on point of sale placement of tobacco products. The court found there was no injury to the company sufficient to justify a restriction on freedom of expression. This is a decision of the appellate court agreeing with the trial court to deny the injunction sought by the tobacco company.
Souza Cruz v. ACT Brazil [Brazil] [September 05, 2012]
Souza Cruz, a tobacco company, sought to prevent ACT Brazil, a public interest NGO, from publishing a video criticizing the placement of tobacco products near candies, gum and other products popular with children. Souza Cruz argued that the video suggested the company was encouraging the criminal act of selling cigarettes to minors. The court ruled that the video did not target the company specifically but was instead generally advocating for greater restrictions on point of sale placement of tobacco products. The court found there was no injury to the company sufficient to justify a restriction on freedom of expression.
Philip Morris Intl. v. University of Stirling [United Kingdom] [June 30, 2011]
Philip Morris International (PMI) requested information from the University of Stirling about a project being undertaken by the University's Centre for Tobacco Control Research that deals with the effects of plain packaging on young adult smokers. The University, a public authority for the purposes of this case, refused to provide the requested information, arguing that the request was vexatious under their Freedom of Information Act. The Scottish Information Commissioner ruled in PMI's favor, concluding that, among other things, the request was not vexatious or a harassment to the University. The Commissioner emphasized that, although the request was likely to impose a significant burden on the University, it could have asked PMI to re-formulate the request and should have provided advice and assistance to PMI.
TAPDK v. Dagli [Turkey] [May 31, 2011]
A tobacco control advocate made statements in the news that were critical of the national tobacco regulatory agency and its relationship with tobacco companies. The government agency sued for defamation and libel. The court decided that the statements in the news article in question were made in concurrence with the rights to report news and to criticize and inform the public. They were in compliance with apparent reality, constituted current news, and could not be considered as personal tort. The court further maintained that the publication of the news article was for public good and for public interest. Based on the above, the court decided to dismiss the libel case of TAPDK.
American Legacy Foundation v. Lorillard Tobacco [United States] [July 17, 2006]
In this decision of the Supreme Court of Delaware, Lorillard Tobacco challenged the advertising of the American Legacy Foundation as a violation of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between 46 states Attorney Generals and the nation’s largest tobacco companies. The terms of the MSA created and funded Legacy to advocate against smoking and tobacco use, but also included limitations on how Legacy could advocate. One of the limitations was that Legacy could not participate in "vilification" or "personal attacks" of the tobacco companies or their executives. Among its advocacy efforts, Legacy developed an advertising campaign called “The Truth” (http://www.thetruth.com/) which created advertisements targeted at catching the attention of young people. Lorillard challenged the ads as a violation of the MSA, claiming they vilified and personally attacked the company and its employees. Agreeing with the Chancery Court, the Supreme Court held the advertisements did not meet the legal standard of vilification or personal attacks. While expressly excluding the dictionary citations offered by the parties, the Court looked at the use of the words in prior case law to determine their legal meaning. The Court found vilification to indicate strong negativity above disparagement and personal attacks to require specific individual targeting. Applying these definitions to the challenged advertisements the Court agreed with the summary judgment of the trial court and dismissed Lorillard’s contract claim.
Eryau v. The Environmental Action Network Ltd. (TEAN) [Uganda] [June 19, 2002]
A smoker seeks to be heard in a separate court case brought by TEAN, a civil society organization, against the Attorney General of Uganda and the National Environmental Management Authority to create and enforce a ban on smoking in public places. The applicant claims to be a former tobacco industry employee who smokes and was concerned about the respondent's request for enforcement of criminal penalties for smoking in public places. The court said the criminal aspects of the respondent’s case were dismissed so that could no longer be a ground for the current application. The court also took judicial notice of the fact that smoking and especially second-hand smoke is dangerous to public health. The court dismissed the applicant as an “obstructionist” and refused his application to be heard in the respondent’s case seeking a ban on smoking in public places.
Eryau v. The Environmental Action Network Ltd. (TEAN) [Uganda] [September 20, 2001]
The Environmental Action Network (TEAN) brought an action against the Attorney General of Uganda and the National Environmental Management Authority to create and enforce a ban on smoking in public places. In this decision, the court ruled on whether a smoker may join that case. The smoker, a former tobacco industry employee, was concerned about the request for enforcement of criminal penalties for smoking in public places. In this ruling TEAN requested to cross examine the smoker because his application was submitted by affidavit. The court rules that it would serve the interests of justice to have the applicant examined in court and orders him to appear at a later date for the purpose of cross examination.
Tobacco Institute of New Zealand Limited of Auckland v. Television New Zealand Ltd [New Zealand] [March 09, 2000]
The Tobacco Institute of New Zealand (Institute) complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority of New Zealand (Authority) that Television New Zealand (TVNZ) had broadcasted a documentary about the tobacco industry, which allegedly portrayed tobacco industry executives in an inaccurate and unbalanced manner and encouraged employment discrimination of Maori women by depicting them as heavy smokers. The Institute claimed that such distortions violated broadcasting laws, which require standards of accuracy and reasonableness in reporting. The Authority dismissed the complaint, finding TVNZ did not present inaccurate information because the documentary adequately distinguished statements of opinion from fact. The Authority also found that TVNZ had not presented an unbalanced depiction of the tobacco industry because TVNZ's focus on the industry was "peripheral" to the program's larger anti-smoking theme. The Authority further found that the comments made about Maori women and smoking were too tenuous to subject Maori women to employment discrimination.
Tobacco Institute of Australia Limited v. Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria [Australia] [November 18, 1992]
The Tobacco Institute of Australia brought proceedings against the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria alleging that a report it had published entitled "Health Warnings and Contents Labelling on Tobacco Products" was misleading and deceptive in contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
The Anti-Cancer Council argued that the report fell within an exception in the Act for prescribed publications. It successfully applied for an order from a Master of the Court that this issue be tried first as a preliminary issue.
The Tobacco Institute appealed from the Master's decision. In this decision, the Court overturned the Master's decision, holding that the issue of whether the report fell within an exception in the Act should be heard together with the substantive proceedings.