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“The gentleman from ASH”

I was on LBC this morning discussing this story:

Refusing surgery to obese people and smokers is "discriminatory and cruel", surgeons have said as they issued a landmark statement calling for the NHS policies to be halted.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges accused health authorities of taking decisions which are counter to the fundamental principles of the NHS.

The Telegraph has the story here.

Also on the programme was Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum.

We agreed on most points but I had to laugh when Tam referred to me as the “gentleman from ASH”.

I didn’t have to say anything because presenter John Stapleton, standing in for Andrew Castle, quickly corrected him, adding, “It’s a similar organisation.”

How true.

Forest has never hidden the fact that we’re a lobby group. Nothing more, nothing less.

ASH, on the other hand, describes itself as a “public health charity”.

I’ve also seen terms such as “health charity”, “independent charity”, “antismoking charity”, “anti-smoking health charity” and, most recently, “tobacco awareness charity”.

John Stapleton is a top pro who’s enjoyed a long and distinguished career. As far as he’s concerned ASH and Forest are merely two sides of the same coin.

So the next time a spokesman for ASH tries to occupy the moral high ground, remember this.

In the opinion of one of Britain’s top broadcasters (and, I suspect, many other journalists and commentators), Forest is a “similar organisation”.

It’s not exactly how I’d like Forest to be remembered but imagine how more galling it must be for ASH!

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Reader Comments (1)

ASH do have the superior acronym IMO.

Freedom organisation for the right to enjoy smoking tobacco is a bit of a mouthful. I think FOREST should be re branded as Action on Smokerphobia and Health.

Then Tam Fry would have been correct.

Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 13:53 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

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