British American Tobacco vs the Government of Namibia

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In Namibia, the country's biggest tobacco seller, British American Tobacco (BAT), is reportedly threatening the Government with legal action over a new bill that will force cigarette companies to print graphic health warnings on packaging.[1]

Under the Tobacco Products Control Act of 2010, packs will have to carry photographs of stained teeth and damaged lungs with appropriate warnings underneath the picture.

BAT claims that:

  • the proposed legislation will expropriate BAT's intellectual property
  • it will undermine the company's right to free expression prevent the company from "freely communicating to consumers the nature of the lawful products on offer"[1]
  • there is no evidence that the legislation will work
  • it will lead to increased smuggling.


  1. 1.0 1.1 'Namibia: Tobacco Firm Threatens Lawsuit',, 16 November 2011, accessed 16 December 2011