Yet here it is: Imperial's reply to the Welsh tobacco control consultation. Forest dubs it winner of its Plain English Award, and not without reason: it is clearly set out and structured:
- Good –there is a tobacco control policy aimed at reducing youth smoking
- Bad – it has been incompetently conceived and designed
- Ugly – Welsh tobacco policy relies disproportionately on ASH Wales, raising the question whether improper pressure is being applied by 'the anti-smoking lobbying industry'.
It is also wrong because it attacks the legal market in tobacco:
In many communities, where smoking rates are well above the national average, a high proportion of smokers will be sourcing their tobacco from illicit sources and criminal gangs ... Attempts to limit the availability of tobacco from legitimate sources will be undermined by an increase in the supply from organised criminal gangs who will welcome the broadening of the market share.Addressing also civil liberties, property rights and the self-defeating method of denormalisation as a means of persuading adults to give up smoking, this consultation response makes good reading.
As The Big Yin points out, Imperial Tobacco is not the first tobacco company to start openly opposing official policy. There is so much to be done, and I hope this kind of document will now surface frequently – my way of saying Up With This Sort Of Thing.