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Monday
Nov112013

Tobacco control invokes teen spirit

Just off the plane from sunny Cape Town and I see the Scotsman has used the quote I sent them on Friday:

"Public policy shouldn’t be based on the subjective opinions of teenage children.

"Adult smokers are entitled to a choice of tobacco product, whether that be slim, menthol or standard cigarettes.

"If government really wants to stop children smoking they should focus on education and enforce existing legislation.

"Targeting packaging and individual products that have a very small market share is an irresponsible distraction from the real issues.”

The context is yet another study by tobacco control researchers at Stirling University which is summed up by the newspaper's headline - Scots teens 'think slim cigarettes less harmful’.

Credit to the Scotsman for giving us the chance to respond.

The paper also invited Forest to react to this story - [Scotland's public health minister Michael] Matheson to proceed with plain cigarette packaging - which appeared on Saturday.

This time they didn't use my response, probably because the report already included a quote from the Tobacco Manufacturers Association.

Here it is anyway:

"There is no evidence that plain packaging will reduce smoking rates.

"There are several reasons why people smoke. Packaging isn't one of them.

"Since plain packs were introduced in Australia illicit trade has gone up and smoking rates have remained the same.

"There is no reason to think that Scotland will be any different.

"Plain packaging is gesture politics that has nothing to do with responsible tobacco control."

Anyway it's good to be back, even if the weather is a far cry from the weekend when I got sunburnt whale watching from the upper deck of a small boat bobbing up and down in the Atlantic Ocean.

Report to follow.

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