Sunday, 8 April 2012

BBC News 24 interview, Friday 6 April

We haven't managed to see it but Michael has written down what he could remember.

INTERVIEWER: In Edinburgh we have Michael Davidson, Chairman of Freedom to Choose (Scotland), pro-smoking group.
MICHAEL: Can I just put one thing straight before we start? We're not pro-smoking, we're pro-choice.
INTERVIEWER: I take it you're against the display ban?
MICHAEL: Yes. We believe this is just another step in the denormalisation and stigmatisation of smokers, we feel that smokers should be allowed to make our own choices in life.
INTERVIEWER: But it's not about adults, is it? It's to discourage children from smoking.
MICHAEL: Well, that's how they dress it up but if you think about it, the more you hide something from children the more intriguing it becomes to them. And anyhow, when children walk down the street they see smokers outside. That's advertising smoking, and it's a consequence of the smoking ban in pubs.
INTERVIEWER: But the government claims at provinces in Canada where they have display bans have seen a drop in smoking.
MICHAEL: Yes I'm familiar with some of these studies, but what the government isn't saying is that in other provinces, where there's no display ban, they have also seen a drop in youth smoking.
INTERVIEWER: So are you saying the evidence is inconclusive?
MICHAEL: Yes, the evidence is inconclusive.
INTERVIEWER: Swimming against the tide?
MICHAEL: Yes, because we're fighting against the state, but we have a great deal of support from people we speak to on the street.

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