You would have thought, wouldn’t you, that the tobacco companies would have been leading the charge against these parasites, who’s only goal in life is to rid the world of their (BT) legal product that gives comfort to billions around the globe.
Of course we all knew that once the four countries that make up the UK brought in the smoking ban on the back of a pack of lies that they would not stop there, as we are finding out now with tobacco display bans and the destruction of the cigarette machine industry imminent.
I suppose the fight back started with Phillip Morris in Australia:
BIG Tobacco is trying to turn smokers into a political force with an under-the-radar campaign encouraging protests against high taxes and bans on smoking in public.Whinges Australia's TC dickheads.
Now Imperial Tobacco has waded in as the Welsh Assembly kicks off it’s draft action plan on Tobacco Control, and they don’t pull their punches:
The attack on free adult choice.I would whoop and holler in agreement if it were not for the fact that freedom2choose has been saying this loud and clear to anyone who would listen and sometimes felt that we were pissing against the wind, but hey, it’s never too late to have some backup eh. But anyway, their (Imperials) response to the Welsh gets more robust:
Under the banner of “public health policy” many adult lifestyle freedoms and choices including where to smoke, how much to drink and what to eat have been unjustifiably attacked. The underlying philosophy appears to be that, left to ourselves, we will inevitably make bad choices and that encouragement is less effective than controlling behaviour through regulation. The Nanny State has become the Bully State. Nudge has rapidly turned to shove.
…Is not founded on an understanding of the factors that cause people to start smoking or to continue to smoke…
An understanding of these factors must be central to achieving effective policy aims.
They are well researched and widely known. Almost all academic studies conducted on smoking begin with at least an attempt to assess these factors. Their omission here betrays an approach that is more anti-smoker than it is pro-public health – ‘denormalising’ smoking as an activity is clear evidence of this. As a result, policy is not led by empirical evidence but by pressure from anti-smoker lobby groups.Once again we see words that F2C have been espousing since before we became an organisation but it is so good to hear (read, in this case) it from those who owe their livelihood to committed smokers, not addicts, I hasten to add.
I’ll have to check my membership files to see if Mr Adam Cleave, UK Public Policy Manager and the author of this response is a paid up member of F2C as we, and our affiliate, Freedom2Choose (Scotland) have written these words many a time before and sent them to the relevant government departments:
The Government’s reliance on anti-tobacco charities displays a concerning undue influence on policy…
The Plan contains multiple references to unelected anti-smoker groups, indicating an alarming level of undue influence on policy formulation and implementation. For example, ASH Wales are featured no less than 39 times in the 45-page Plan. Such levels of influence from vested interest groups invariably lead to unrealistic, unachievable and ineffective policies.
Imperial Tobacco questions why ASH Wales appear to be directly involved in at least 23 of the 59 actions contained in the Plan – some 39% of the total. The facts suggest that, rather than tobacco manufacturers having an undue influence over policy, it is the anti-smoking lobbying industry and other vested commercial interests that are having a disproportionate impact on policy, with manufacturers unfairly excluded from debate.
To address such concerns about influence on policy, transparency should also apply equally to NGOs and to the pharmaceutical companies that are prominent in shaping the tobacco cessation agenda. This will ensure proper accountability for the expenditure of public money and dispel any suspicion of public policy being steered by sectional or commercial interests.Freedom2Choose is as committed as ever to have this terrible ban amended or overturned, an uphill struggle I know, and we are receiving many responses to the blog piece Blots on the landscape so do keep them coming.
Dick Puddlecote wrote about this riposte from Imperial only this morning and doubts if anyone in the Welsh Assembly Tobacco Control group will even read it but at least we know tobacco companies will be silent no longer. And I must hat tip Simon Clarke over at Taking Liberties for the original link to the document.
The extracts above from Imperial Tobacco’s response to the Welsh TC are from a ten page document. I have put the whole ten pages into YuDu below, please click on the "Enlarge this document in a new window" to get a better read.