A long response by Deep Smoke (who once worked for a tobacco company) to a question from markw:
All kidding aside could you ask Deep Smoke why the Tobacco Companies won’t fight the shs claims using tobacco control’s own air quality testing which proves that shs is NOT a workplace health hazard?
I don’t know why and I can only speculate. Initially, Big T did publicly fight all of the SHS claims, but this was what — 20, 30 years ago and more? A great deal has happened since then, such as the Master Settlement and all of those 40-60 year-old documents that tobacco control love to cite as proof that Big T is evil. The early 80s is about when most of the media began to support tobacco control groups while ignoring Big T. Obviously, that stymied the public fight in a huge way. Also keep in mind the FCTC from the WHO, which is partially designed to keep Big T out of the public fight. So I could answer markw’s question with another question: If no one pays you any attention, if no one is interested in what you have to say, how the hell can you fight against bogus claims?
Big T does fight these SHS claims when it has to, but only in court, when they are sued. Big T is sued often, yet wins the vast majority of individual consumer lawsuits. Not really consumer lawsuits, typically it’s a family member of a smoker who died in their late 60s early 70s from pneumonia, and a family member will claim that death and that they have also been harmed by SHS. It’s opportunism and greed: bitter, grieving vultures hoping to get a quick and easy payout from Big T. This is why tobacco control doesn’t use the courts to sue tobacco companies and instead uses politicians to achieve its ends of tobacco control, because they know they’re going to lose on health claims. TC have always lost on these grounds, with only a rare few exceptions when a judge or jury is particularly hostile to smoking (these decisions are reversed on appeal often). Any dumbass lawyer who would introduce TC propaganda in a court would be pummeled severely, so they have to prove beyond doubt that SHS actually harmed someone, and they cannot prove it. You never hear about the vast majority of these cases in the press, or if you do, and the plaintiff loses their suit, then the press simply ignores the whole thing, like it never happened.
Also do note that none of the smoking bans have made any difference to cigarette sales — people are still smoking. There is an overall decline in tobacco use and sales in western countries, yes, but that decline has been consistent for five decades prior to any public smoking bans. It has nothing to with bans. So from a Big T perspective, if it’s not hurting profits, then why spend money fighting it? It is, however, more complicated than this. Big T would love to see a relaxation of smoking bans, but they also supporting public opinion that SMOKING KILLS and PROTECT CHILDREN in order to be more “adults only” and “friendly” so I would think they do not want to jeopardise that position by taking on a fight they would only lose in the court of public opinion.
It is also a matter of legal standing. As said before, TC doesn’t not challenge Big T in court any longer (plain packs is different). Look at what is happening with possible smoke drift laws in Australia. Big T cannot get involved, apart from a press release, because it’s an attack against the individual smokers, not tobacco companies. You will see more and more of this as TC shifts its focus away from the companies and begins to attack individuals and/or housing complexes in court. They are already doing so in a number of places and these people do not have the resources to fight these claims. At the same time TC is trying to get laws implemented, one after another, usually in small towns and villages at a local ordinance level, and no governments nor councillors will consult with Big T. They pass laws to protect children or others without ever seeing any evidence of harm, because it looks good politically.
So there is no fight that can be fought. The only thing that Big T can do is keep selling a legal product to those who want it. The fight will have to come from us, the consumers. Unfortunately, most of the consumers also believe TC’s propaganda, and feel ashamed that they smoke, so they aren’t willing to fight either.