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The hypocrisy of the tobacco control industry never ceases to amaze.

Today's Independent reports that:

Anti-smoking campaigners have voiced concerns that Mark Littlewood, the director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has been appointed as an "independent adviser" to the Government's Red Tape Challenge, which they believe might allow him to influence policy on plain cigarette packets.

Mr Littlewood is well known for his robust views on anti-smoking legislation and in the past his institute has received funding from the tobacco industry – although it refuses to say whether this is still the case.

I could re-write those paras many times over but I'll give you one example of what I have in mind:

Smokers' rights groups have voiced concerns that Deborah Arnott, the director of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), is acting as an independent adviser to the Secretary of State for Health, which they believe might allow her to influence policy on plain cigarette packets.

Ms Arnott is well known for her robust views on tobacco control legislation and in the past her organisation has received funding from the government.

I could go on but I'm rather busy at the moment. I'll come back to this later.

For story here: The PM, his pro-smoking aide, and a dirty war over cigarette packaging

You may wish to comment.

Update: Alex Massie has this to say on his Spectator blog – How Lobbying Works, Part XCII. Worth reading.

Update: Angela Harbutt adds her bit on Liberal Vision – Plain packaging – a dirty war alright!

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Reader Comments (4)

Biggest of all hypocrites!

Mark Littlewood has always said that the IEA receives funding from tobacco companies, but it is in the region of 2%, and Mark has said publicly that it does in no way influence any activities that the IEA may be involved in, besides which this money is private and not from the taxpayer and is purely voluntary.

“Ms Arnott is well known for her robust views on tobacco control legislation and in the past her organisation has received funding from the government.”

ASH still receives funding from the Government, and it has not been cut back to any great extent as far as I’m aware. Not only this, but they receive three bites of the taxpayer cherry.
1. They receive funding from central Government, whether the taxpayer likes it or not.
2. They also receive funding from CRUK (cancer research UK) which comes from the taxpayer.
3. They get funding from BHF (British Heart Foundation) which also comes courtesy of the taxpayer.
4. As you know they also suck in money from pharmaceutical companies too.

You will note that they don’t receive funding from companies involved in construction, petroleum, engineering, coal mining etc. No, of course not, because none of these sectors manufacture and produce smoking cessation products – which ASH naturally help to peddle, and who can agree with taking money away from important research that CRUK and the BHF are involved in?

One thing is for sure, it is a pleasant surprise to see David Cameron involving someone who actually holds a contrary view to Ms Arnott and asking them for their opinion.

Nock 'em dead Mark - I can only wish you well!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 17:26 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Henson

Of course we will never see your accurate example published in the press.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 19:44 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

John Henson, the trouble is these days, due to the fact that they fund ASH, I seriously question what important research CRUK and BHF actually do? Most of it seems to be skewed to back ASH's false claims. For this reason these charities will never get a penny from me!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 14:42 | Unregistered CommenterLyn

They claim that they do important research...whether they do or not is neither here nor there. They should not be giving this taxpayers money to ASH when it is intended for their own research...that's the point.

Obviously their getting too much money from us to squander, which is a point worth making from time to time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 17:24 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Henson

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