- ASH Scotland hosts a 'unique illicit tobacco summit' (Perth, 21 September);
- It bars tobacco manufacturers from making any presentations, and even from attending as delegates;
- It issues a press release (and a blog post from Sheila Duffy) without even mentioning the exclusion of tobacco companies;
- No one protests, except the tobacco companies.
I'm not suggesting that there should be no tobacco polices or tobacco control, but excluding tobacco companies from control of policy discussions about illicit tobacco will lead to badly informed outcomes. By all means health officials can be involved too. One policy interest should balance the other. The point is that the health department and its appendage ASH Scotland shouldn't dictate the terms of involvement in national policy-making by excluding the industry whose product is at the heart of the discussion.
How disappointing that none of the other participants at the Perth Conference didn't see fit to protest at tobacco manufacturers being barred from even attending the conference: or weren't they told?