“These reasons which the United States has presented as constituting a legitimate objective by themselves, appear to us as relating in one way or another to the costs that might be incurred by the United States were it to ban menthol cigarettes”.
“Indeed, the United States [continues to allow the sale of] menthol cigarettes not because it is not a type of cigarette with a characterizing flavour that appeals to youth, but rather because of the costs that might be incurred as a result of such a ban,” the panel concluded.
If the US stands true to its 2009 Family Smoking Prevention Act, it will have to widen the ban to also include menthol flavoured cigarettes. The ruling could thus turn out to be a welcome argument in favour of the stricter legislation proposed by FDA.
Nothing like the WTO giving the government more reasons to butt into our lives eh?