Tobacco Manufacturers Put Frighteners On Corner Shops

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The tobacco industry front group "The Tobacco Retailers Alliance" was condemned for attempting to terrify small shop keepers. The group was exposed as a tobacco industry front organisation last autumn when they were caught covertly lobbying MPs against government health policy.

The Department of Health wants to cut youth smoking by ending tobacco displays and the tobacco industry is determined to stop them. It has claimed that similar legislation in Canada is closing down dozens of corner shops every week. Martin Dockrell, Director of Research and Policy at ASH said,

"This is the kind of thing we see coming from the tobacco industry time after time. These laws only came in last year and the big tobacco companies are claiming that they have already closed hundreds of small businesses. Of course they don't say how many businesses closed last year or how many new businesses opened up."

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"Most deceitful of all they don't even mention the credit crunch and they don't explain how Canada's biggest convenience store chain reported profits up over 40%. The truth is that Big Tobacco depends on recruiting 100,000 new teen smokers every year to stay in profit and they will stop at nothing to peddle their addictive poison to our children"

Dockrell explained how industry groups used the same tactics to try and block smokefree laws.

"This is no more than a cut and paste job from last year's press releases about smokefree pubs. Tobacco industry front groups have claimed that every pub that has closed in the last two years closed purely because customers now smoke outside. The truth is that until the recession hit the number of licenses to sell alcohol was up 5%."

Department of Health proposals now before Parliament will end tobacco displays in large shops in England by 2011. Small shops will have until 2013 to comply.

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Comments

The anti-tobacco/smoking cessation front group "ASH" with it's many funded allies is condemned for claiming charitable status when they attempt to terrify the population and politicians through persistant political lobbying something that no charity is allowed to do. They receive funding direct from Government to provide 'facts' to support many health initiative groups funded by pharmaceutical companies and refuse to accept that there is any valid opinion other than their own. Spokespeople such as Martin Dockerall make many spurious claims against opposing views but this is the kind of thing we see coming from paid anti-smoking activists time after time. These people and other pharmaceutical puppets deny that their demands for smoke free premises have already closed hundreds of small businesses. Of course they blame everything else for the closures and ignore blatant evidence of commercial and social harm. Most deceitful of all they don't even admit that widely lauded claims such as that of massively reduced hospital heart attack admissions in Scotland do not nd up to the official published figures showing that admissions actually rose for the first time in many, many years despite 2 years of their ban. Is this success? Nor do they explain how the growth of the smoking cessation empire takes vast amounts of funds from frontline NHS services despite the massive failure rate and negative effect upon smoking prevalence. Their fear and denial tactics are no more than a cut and paste job from their long list of predetermined attacks bolstered with statistically limited bias.
Chas - you may well be right, but ASH's bold championing of the smoking ban has directly led to a 12% DECREASE in the amount of phlegm now expectorated by bar workers. You simply can't compare health gains on this scale with the loss of 40,000 jobs. Remember - if the display ban saves only one innocent child from a potential lifetime of slavery to tobacco, what does it matter if few old corner shops are forced to close? They probably deserve to.
'Nor do they explain how the growth of the smoking cessation empire takes vast amounts of funds from frontline NHS services despite the massive failure rate and negative effect upon smoking prevalence.' Not ony does ASH not justify it they appear to revel in not doing so, to do so would be to admit that all they spend our money on is terrorising children with their rhetoric, perhaps an investigation by the Dept of Social Services is in order here? I cannot help but ask what percentage of that money would of saved some of the 400-1200 souls who died in a hospital needlessly? Even as a smoker I can see that in the beginning they meant well, it is sad that a charity functions as a governmental thinktank, instead of providing help for those who want it as charities should they play party politics with taxpayers money, they hide behind charities shield in order to bully, malign and worse still scream what about the children while forcing their alleged victims into the very arms of what they claim to protect them from. They have forced children into smoky environments which they claim harms them, they frighten them with tales of thier loved ones imminent death, the unfortunate ones who already live in fear from abusive adults are being denied loving homes. This is child abuse on a magnitude that puts Ampt V of the Gestapo to shame! Our government stands by and supports this travesty, I refuse to believe that the majority of britains support this, they are not the British people who led the world for centuries, who like the Greeks and the Romans brought culture and parliamentary democracy to over half of the world. Your Majesty, my Noble Lords and Ladies, Right honourable Ladies and Gentlemen, I ask that you all put an end to your peoples suffering at the hands of this 'Charity', you can do nothing better with your political lives than to Save Our Children.
Are posts 1-3 from an organised group? This is a classic tobacco industry tactic - get some 'independent' freedom fighters together, feed them misinformation and let them loose to spread their propaganda. the posts are anonymous yet post 2 calls either 1 or 3 'Chas' Each of the 3 posts spouts well-rehearsed rhetoric.
Are posts 1-3 from an organised group? ------Not as far as I know but, of course you assume this in an effort to undermine alternative opinion. This is a classic tobacco industry tactic - get 'independent' freedom fighters together, feed them misinformation and let them loose to spread their propaganda. --------- What an assumption!!!!!! You are desribing a classic Pharma/Government funded anti-group tactic that, for many years, has been well documented on websites including the likes of ASH. One only has to look at any public consultation to see the vast number of pro-forma responses from similar groups all funded directly or indirectly by Government and allied to ASH and CRUK. FROM HANSARD re the Tobacco display debate ……. “I discovered that of the 90,000 responses, 49,000 came from Smoke Free North West and comprised written postcards or e-mails. Is anybody suggesting that that is real consultation? Perhaps we ought to look at who provides the money for these organisations. I further discovered that 79,000 out of 90,000 representations came from government-funded bodies. Therefore, it is not surprising that they responded as the Government wished them to. The Government provided the money for them to respond; they responded as the Government wished, and then they say there has been consultation. I do not believe that is genuine consultation. I do not believe that any Minister of any Government could stand up and say that that was genuine consultation.” the posts are anonymous yet post 2 calls either 1 or 3 'Chas' Each of the 3 posts spouts well-rehearsed rhetoric. ------Hardly well rehearsed and, here we go again, with demeaning words like ‘spouts’ and ‘rhetoric’. So childish! When it comes to spouting rhetoric we only have to look at the number of times we read about the misleading statement of a 17% fall in hospital admissions due to the Scottish smoking ban that I referred to previously. Both other posterings, like mine appear to be from people who are so disgusted with a democracy that sponsors the actions of faux-charities that eagerly spread exaggerations to suport their own agenda and ‘for the good’ of those who have never been consulted. They consistantly produce studies something akin to sixth formers marking each other’s homework,call it ‘science’ yet disallow any alternative opinion, feed their following with misinformation and let them loose to spread their propaganda. To paraphrase the words of Sir Liam Donaldson – For the pharmaceutical industry to claim impartiality in their opinions is tantamount to getting the mafia to produce a study on gun crime. It is a disgrace that at the highest levels of unelected health organisations have demanded that such elected bodies as the European Union should not allow any person or organisation with any connection (even unproved so it seems) to ‘big tobacco’ to take any part in any discussions about tobacco reduction. Sorry anonymous but I refuse to accept the lies and propaganda that emanates from such hate groups as ASH at face value. You should try it yourself.
ASH - The taxpayer funded front group for the Pharmaceutical Industry.