The latest attempt by tobacco companies to prevent the introduction of mandatory plain packaging of cigarettes in the UK has been rejected by the court of appeal.
The judgment is a fresh blow to companies who face having to replace their current heavily branded distinctive packs with boxes that are indistinguishable from each other bar the brand name on the packet in standard typeface, colour and size.
The regulations aim to reduce the appeal and uptake of smoking, by children and young people in particular, help smokers to quit, prevent misleading packaging, and give greater prominence to health warnings.
But British American, Imperial, Japan International and Philip Morris claim that the move would infringe their human and intellectual property rights.
In May, the high court rejected their arguments, the day before the tobacco products directive of the EU took effect. Some of the companies took the case to the court of appeal last …