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Wednesday
Jun102015

Tobacco levy, ASH, and Forest's response

ASH's demand for a tobacco levy has been in the news this morning.

Not as much as they might have hoped, perhaps.

The BBC, naturally, has the story (Call for tobacco levy to help smokers quit). So too the Guardian (Public health group calls for levy on tobacco firms to help fight smoking).

The Guardian also has an article by YouGov's Peter Kellner who also authored the ASH report 'Smoking Still Kills'.

Sky News and ITV News are reporting the story but not in any great detail as far as I can tell.

In response I did a handful of interviews this morning.

A scheduled live interview on BBC Radio Scotland was shelved at the last moment because of an over-running item featuring Nicola Sturgeon.

Instead I recorded an interview with the great John Beattie, the former international rugby player who toured twice with the Lions, and is now a BBC Scotland presenter.

Before we began he told me he was a former smoker, then gave me quite a grilling. It was curiously enjoyable.

Even more satisfying was hearing Deborah Arnott getting quite angry when we went head-to-head on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire a few minutes later.

I don't know why but, increasingly, Forest seems to have that effect on her.

I'll post the interview here later.

Meanwhile here's our full response: Forest rejects call for tobacco levy to reduce smoking rates.

See also: Ten million Britons still smoke. A levy on the tobacco industry could help them stop (Peter Kellner, Guardian)

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