Media coverage of the Tobacco Control Plan announcement
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:25
Simon Clark

Quick update on the media coverage of the Government's new Tobacco Control Plan.

Yesterday's announcement was reported widely online but coverage was substantially more muted in today's print editions.

Forest was quoted online by, among others, BBC News, The Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and City AM.

These reports were dominated, inevitably, by quotes from public health minister Steve Brine (more on him in a later post), ASH, Public Health England and the British Medical Association.

In general tobacco control welcomed the plan, with the proviso that to implement it there will have to be a substantial investment of public money.

The only critical voice was (of course) Forest. (Given the impact on individual liberty and the potential cost to the taxpayer of driving down smoking rates it's amazing how almost every liberal or free market pressure group goes missing at moments like this.)

The Forest soundbites most often quoted were:

"In the 21st century tobacco control policies should focus on harm reduction products, not prohibition and other restrictive practises."

"The most important stakeholder is the consumer, yet they are routinely ignored by Government. Ministers should stop lecturing smokers and engage with them."

"The Tobacco Control Plan should include a systematic review of the impact of measures such as the display ban and plain packaging. It's time too to question the use of public money to fund stop-smoking services and other anti-smoking campaigns."

You can read our full response here.

We didn't do any broadcast interviews yesterday. I did LBC and BBC Radio Oxford this morning but it's been pretty quiet on that front.

When I get a moment I might post something along the lines of, 'What does the Tobacco Control Plan mean for smokers and vapers?'

PS. Tomorrow I shall be on a local BBC radio station talking about vaping in the workplace. Stay tuned!

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