by Max Barry

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[OFFICIAL] The Islævian Sun (News)

Tobacco industry receives two new legal blows

Stefiord, Islævia

The People's Council has approved by an overwhelming majority (with only the PN [National Party] against) a new law banning smoking in all public areas, which be implemented in the next weeks. Daytime police patrols will be reinforced to enforce the new legislation.

At the same time, the Supreme Court has ruled that suing tobacco companies for selling products that are openly harmful to consumers' health is legal, as long as these products are sold in Islævia - irrespective of the location of the companies' legal headquarters. Dozens of former smokers have immediately followed suit, bringing the total number of lawsuits to 46.

Both actions follow a campaign by the government of the Islævian Socialist Party (PSI) against tobacco, widely viewed as an attempt to drive all tobacco companies out of the country. Domestic businesses have been bankrupted or expropriated and closed by the government, while foreign ones have moved their legal headquarters out of Islævia, and are now targeted with these new rules. Two CEOs have fled the country after the crackdown started.

The government has warned that protests against these decisions might violate laws on public health and are hence illegal.