Key facts of the case
Request for a preliminary ruling from the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court).
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Approximation of laws — Manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products — Directive 2014/40/EU — Article 1(c) and Article 17 — Prohibition on the placing on the market of tobacco products for oral use — Validity.
Outcome of the case
In the light of all the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court answer point (ii) of the question referred for a preliminary ruling from the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen’s Bench Division (Administrative Court), United Kingdom as follows:
Consideration of point (ii) of the question referred for a preliminary ruling has not revealed any factor capable of affecting the validity of Article 1(c) and Article 17 of Directive 2014/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco and related products and repealing Directive 2001/37/EC.
18) The NNA contends, in the course of its intervention, that the prohibition on the placing on the market of tobacco for oral use is not only disproportionate, but also contrary to the rights to respect for human dignity and private and family life, enshrined in Articles 1 and 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) respectively, and the right of access to medical treatment provided for in Article 35 of the Charter.
19) In those circumstances, the referring court decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following question to the Court for a preliminary ruling:
‘Are [Article 1(c) and Article 17] of Directive [2014/40] invalid by reason of:
i. breach of the EU general principle of non-discrimination;
ii. breach of the EU general principle of proportionality;
iii. breach of Article 5(3) TEU and the EU principle of subsidiarity;
iv. breach of Article 296(2) of the Treaty [on] the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’);
v. breach of Articles 34 and 35 TFEU; and
vi. breach of Articles 1, 7 and 35 of the [Charter]?’