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« Report: tobacco control "intimidated" by "pro-smoking" campaigners | Main | Question for the Guardian: is this news or propaganda? »

Tobacco Control throws a tantrum

H/T Mark Butcher for spotting this poster on the side of a Geneva tram.

The small print reads: "Tobacco industry tactics to undermine tobacco control must be exposed and resisted". A similar thing could be said of the tactics used by the tobacco control industry, and with far greater justification.

In fact, given the intimidatory and often discriminatory tactics employed by tobacco control (see this previous post) it's hilarious that they should squeal "Intimidation!" and point the finger at Big Tobacco.

The WHO's Director-General Margaret Chan has criticised the tobacco industry for interfering with the treaty, highlighting lawsuits launched in Uruguay, Norway, Turkey and Australia - all countries that moved towards its implementation.

"We have an enemy, a ruthless and devious enemy," said Chan. "It is horrific to think that an industry known for its dirty tricks and dirty laundry could be allowed to trump what is clearly in the public's best interest."

See: Tobacco firms accused of thwarting controls

Forest too stands accused. We have "aggressively attacked the plain-packing proposal, launching a 'Hands Off Our Packs' campaign". This of course comes just three weeks after the BBC reported Plain cigarette packet 'sabotage' campaign.

It is clear that the tobacco control industry will do whatever it takes to stop a legitimate business from defending itself and its consumers. In political terms they want a one-party state where opponents are denied the right to freedom of speech and assembly.

Opponents of the World Health Organisation's brave new world must be denounced as enemies of the state and silenced accordingly.

See also: World No Tobacco Day raises health, freedom issues in Britain

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Reader Comments (6)

Is it ironic that the WHO and Philip Morris both have their head offices in Geneva?

I don't whether you have caught this in the Guardian but Deborah Arnott of ASH has a surprisingly constructive article on E-cigarettes. Is it an admission that her policies and NRT are not working and tobacco will be with us for the foreseeable future? No matter how draconian and illiberal bans are, people are not quitting in the numbers the way WHO and ASH want.

Plus you have an increasing 3rd world both in the numbers of their population and thus smoking as free trade increases wealth. I saw recently that the WHO have been trying to persuade African farmers to stop growing tobacco and change to other crops. Their reaction was: "The International Tobacco Growers Association (ITGA), which represents more than 30 million tobacco farmers and workers around the world, say an entire region's economy is being put at risk by a "new form of imperialism" perpetrated by health officials with no experience in agriculture. The ITGA argues that the FCTC have moved beyond their original intention of helping tobacco farmers find viable alternative crops, in a "complete disregard for the fact that tobacco is one of the only crops that provides sustainable income for many families in this region."

With the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) excluding African food and the USA is no better, tobacco commands twice the price of any other cash crop.

I see there is a white flag of surrender from tobacco control.

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:30 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Oh please god!

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 13:16 | Unregistered Commenterc777

love that picture!

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 13:25 | Unregistered CommenterBelinda

So do I, Belinda.

Wonderfully counterproductive isn't it?

If you ignore the wording of course.

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 13:51 | Unregistered CommenterRose2


JTI as well. In fact the canton of Geneva facilitated their office space.

They don't want smokers - but do want the business.

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 14:26 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

Tobacco is highly taxed up to 90% of the product so who gains fuinancially from the sales of tobacco? I would say Tobacco Control because most of that tax goes its way.

It is now Big Tobacco Control against the LittleTobacco companies - a legal industry fighting corporate attacks from a competitive industry and unable to defend itself by law.

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 19:38 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

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