Tobacco companies have abandoned their legal action challenging new laws to restrict the advertisement and promotion of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

The legal proceedings have been going on for three years.

A full hearing was due to go ahead at the Commercial Court on Tuesday.

The plaintiffs included 16 tobacco companies as well as companies involved in supplying cigarettes to vending machines and a newsagent representing a number of retail outlets.

They had challenged plans to amend the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 by restricting the advertising of tobacco products.

They claimed the new legislation was unconstitutional.    

The legislation can now be introduced. 

The tobacco companies now face a substantial bill for costs.