Sunday, 22 August 2010

MP joins fight against the display ban

Mike Weatherley MP (Hove, Conservative) has joined the fight against the tobacco display ban, and promised to pursue it with written questions in Parliament, according to the Sunday Express.

The Sunday Express itself has launched a campaign to save our newsagents, launched shortly before the General Election. Mike Penning, Shadow Health Minister at the time, promised that Conservatives would review the legislation if elected, and the Express vowed to campaign against any attempts to bring in 'this unfair legislation'. Their decision is awaited.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Imperial Tobacco has challenged the legislative competence of the Parliament to pass the ban in Scotland. The case was heard in July and the result is awaited.

Finally Finland (well, why not?), where prohibition appears to be on the way. A display ban has been passed, much to the delight of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which has sent a message of congratulation. Their statement to Medical News Today:
Across the UK those who make and sell cigarettes have been fighting tooth and nail to overturn this legislation but the tide is running against them. Laws for smokefree public places started in a few small jurisdictions and rapidly spread across the globe.
They love calling all the opposition to their plans 'those who make and sell cigarettes'. In the memorable words of the late Gian Turci, late CEO of Forces International:
In the minds of these deranged fanatics all those who:

  • Oppose smoking bans
  • Defend the freedom of choice
  • Uphold real science, and condemn the epidemiological trash science used to justify suppression
  • Fight for ethics in science, politics and in the media
  • Advocate peaceful coexistence, civilized behaviour and social tolerance, or
  • Fight for the survival of their businesses

ARE the tobacco industry when it comes to smoking, ARE the food industry when it comes to eating, ARE the alcohol industry when it comes to drinking, and ARE the oil industry when it comes to denouncing the global warming hoax!

Whatever one thinks of the global warming theory, the validity of Gian's point is beyond question. Opposition to the health agenda is equated directly with commercial interest in some offending industry. If there is no connection they seek to create one in the minds of the public while quietly forgetting, for example, that by far the biggest cut from tobacco is taken by government in the form of taxes.

Back to ASH on the subject of Finland.
We are seeing exactly the same process here, the only question is: Will the UK be one of the first major economies to implement a display ban or will it be the first to cave in to tobacco industry pressure and reverse a law that has already been passed by parliament?

1 comment:

Political Insider said...

ASH conveniently forget to mention the vested interests of Global Tobacco Control.