Tobacco companies lost a court fight to overturn new restrictions on advertising in places where cigarettes are sold in Britain.
Justice Richard McCombe of the High Court rejected the companies’ argument that the measure was draconian and disproportionate.
The restrictions, which come into force Dec. 21, severely limit the number, size, location and content of promotional materials at tobacco “points of sale,” including stores, pubs and clubs. Ads must include a prominent health warning.
The manufacturers -- including some of the world’s biggest tobacco companies -- had argued that the rules were an unlawful ban on informing customers about legal products.
The lawsuit was filed by the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Assn., an industry group.