TobaccoTactics.org

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TocabboTactics.org is a website, ultimately funded by the UK taxpayer[1][2], CRUK and Bath University (£56,409[3] from CRUK alone.)

TobaccoTactics aims to provide up-to-date information on the Tobacco Industry, its allies or those promoting a pro-tobacco agenda. The website explores how the industry influences and often distorts public health debates, using a whole raft of lobbying and public relations tactics.[4]

Self evidently, it fails to provide the same information on how the anti-tobacco industry, almost entirely (if not totally) funded by the taxpayer, distorts public health debates by misrepresenting research, having self-referential research, and outright lies and misdirection while also lobbying Government.

It was created (or more likely initially commissioned) by Linda Bauld (Bath University) and is largely edited by Eveline Lubbers and Andrew Rowell[5][6]

Research would appear to have been carried out by a Dutch organisation Stichting Res Publica, which itself is part of Buro Jansen & Janssen.[5] Of which Eveline Lubbers was a co-founder:

Eveline Lubbers is an investigative reporter and activist living in Amsterdam. She co-founded the Jansen & Janssen Bureau to monitor police and secret services. She has produced books on corporate intelligence and PR strategies of multinationals against their critics, subjects mainly in Dutch.[7]

Sadly, they also seem to document those whose only involvement with the tobacco industry is as a customer and are sick of bully-statism whereby taxes are 'stolen' to pay for their activities.

This is probably an extension of something seen over The States:

If you oppose smoking bans for any reason — property rights, individual liberty, you like smokers — you’re now apparently part of Big Tobacco.

[...]

Chris Masoner, regional government relations director for ACS [American Cancer Society], said he produced the alert. He argued that anyone who perpetuates smoking is part of Big Tobacco, including Kansas bar owners and legislators seeking to exempt bars from the 2010 smoking ban, citing double-digit declines in businesses.

KansasWatchdog contacted ACS headquarters in Atlanta for comment on Masoner’s redefinition of “Big Tobacco.” Masoner later called to say ACS national headquarters contacted him and replied: “We speak with one voice on this issue.”[8]

More recently ASH (2012) decided that almost anyone, public, private, business, that had any problem with anti-tobacco tactics was fit to be listed, slotting those that didn't easily fit into the neat groups of 'Big Tobacco,' 'Retail Groups,' 'Trade Bodies,' etc could be brushed into the 'front groups' category and be accused of 'astro-turfing' to the point where 'private blogs' were also included in the report[9]

This site

It was noticed on 1st July 2012, that they'd decided to list the owner of this website [10] simply because of an FoI request into why Smokefree South West thought it wise to spend nearly £.5 million of taxpayers money on lobbying the government. That FoI was made long before this site was created, and the result of that (and other FoI's into SFSW's contributions to anti-tobacco activity ) was - in part the reason for the creation of this site.

Dick Puddlecote

For some reason the researchers behind the site seem unaware of pseudonyms being used on the internet, especially with blogs, and they seem to have a problem with determining who says what[11]:

A perfect example is this claim:

He also calls, ASH's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Deborah Arnott a "wanker" who is "paid for out of your taxes”.[22]

I found this curious as I didn't remember it, which is unusual. Hardly surprising since I didn't say it.[12]


It was lifted from a quoted section of an article by Tim Worstall.

And I’ll even make a deal. When Deborah Arnott’s screen and radio appearances, public utterances, are accompanied by a “this wanker is paid for out of your taxes” warning then I’ll make sure that my income, and thus my funding, is similarly disclosed. Until then you’re all cordially invited to fornicate and travel.

As you can see, even Timmy didn't directly call Arnott a wanker. A non-existent message from an unspecified fantasy government department did.


Despite their 'right of reply' policy

All content is monitored by the managing editors. The Right of Reply procedure is set up to report complaints about any material considered defamatory, offensive, inaccurate or otherwise misrepresenting a person or an organisation. [13]

this incorrect citation (created June 1[14]) remains on their site more than one month after it was pointed out.

References