ASH (2012)

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A report "prepared by ASH for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health and sets out a summary of information in the public domain at the current time about front groups and third party advocates with links to the tobacco industry and their role in the recent UK legislative process."

Sadly, presuming due to a lack of funds or time, ASH were unable to produce the contrariwise report detailing those front-groups, lobbying groups and state-funded 'charities' that play their own role in the UK legislative process.

In it they list apparently any group or -one who, at the time of publication, was vocal with regard to the anti-smoking tactics being used by the afore-mentioned front-groups, lobbying groups and state funded 'charities' that lobby government for the denormalisation of tobacco.

The document can be effectively summarised by the following quote from Simon Clarke:

In a section called 'Astroturfing' it mentions the online magazine Spiked plus a number of individuals including me, Patrick Basham (Democracy Institute), Mark Littlewood (Institute of Economic Affairs) and Chris Snowdon (Velvet Glove Iron Fist).

The gist of the document is that everybody mentioned is either a front group or an apologist for Big Tobacco and anyone who has ever had a meeting with or exchanged correspondence with the tobacco industry is, by definition, a stooge of BT.

In fact, by extension I guess it means that anyone who is opposed to extreme tobacco control measures – comprehensive smoking bans, the display ban, plain packaging etc – is also part of Big Tobacco's "evil" web.

The idea that we have minds of our own and can think for ourselves is obviously beyond ASH's comprehension.[1]


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