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BAT case to avoid health costs goes up in smoke

By Paul Ogemba | Published Sat, February 18th 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 17th 2017 at 22:53 GMT +3

Cigarette manufacturers will contribute a percentage of their profits to cater for adverse effects of tobacco use, a court has ruled.

They will also have to publish graphic images on their packaging to warn the public against tobacco use. A three-judge bench of the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by British American Tobacco Limited challenging the 2014 Tobacco Control Act.

Appellate Judges Festus Azangalala, Hannah Okwengu and Fatuma Sichale ruled that the regulations are meant to protect the public against adverse effects of tobacco use and did not violate the rights of the manufactures.

"We find that the regulations are justifiable in accordance with Article 24 of the Constitution. We need to balance public health against intellectual property rights," ruled the judges.

BAT had appealed against High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi's decision to uphold sections of the Tobacco Control Act which require that they remit two per cent of their earning to support compensation for adverse effects of tobacco use.

Tobacco Control Board Chairman Prof Peter Odhiambo said they would implement the regulations which were to be effected  in December 2014 but have been delayed by the case.


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