Anti-tobacco lobby group proposals are an unprecedented, un-evidenced, ideological attack

Anti-tobacco lobby group proposals are an unprecedented, un-evidenced, ideological attack

Embargoed until 00.01 Wednesday 10 June 2015

Commenting on the proposals by the anti-tobacco group Action on Smoking and Health for future tobacco control measures Giles Roca, Director General of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association commented:

“This report shows just how draconian and self-serving ASH’s agenda has become. Measures such as a complete ban on smoking in cars or a levy on tobacco companies are clearly not evidence based but are simply a case of an anti-smoking professional lobby group trying to find new ways to attack smokers and a legitimate industry. These proposals would cost the Treasury billions over the next parliament and would simply provide government funding for this group to continue lobbying the government.

“All this comes on top of the tobacco display ban which has only recently been introduced in small shops, whilst the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (which bans packs under 20 cigarettes or 30 grammes of tobacco, which bans menthol cigarettes and which increases health warnings to 65% of the pack) and plain packaging of tobacco have yet to be implemented, let alone evaluated.

“Aside from the unwarranted intrusion on individual freedoms, this continued drive to over-regulate the UK tobacco market will simply create greater opportunities for organised crime groups involved in smuggling on a massive scale. These proposals are an unprecedented, un-evidenced, dogmatic attack on a legal industry that would have hugely damaging consequences.”

– ENDS –

For further information, please contact:

Paul Stockall
t: 020 7544 0113 m: 07545 440 700
e: pstockall@the-tma.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The TMA is the trade association for tobacco companies that operate in the UK. Our members are British American Tobacco UK Ltd (www.bat.com), Gallaher Ltd (a member of the JTI Group of companies – www.jti.com), and Imperial Tobacco Ltd. (www.imperial-tobacco.com)

2. The ASH report entitled Smoking Still Kills is due to be published on 9 June 2015

3. TMA commissioned Oxford Economics to undertake analysis of the sort of tobacco levy ASH proposes and it concluded that it would be a revenue negative measure, which would cost the Government money if implemented and not, as ASH claims, increase tax receipts. A copy of the Oxford Economics paper is available on request.

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