Arnott v. Clark, Round 257

Last week Simon Clark and Deborah Arnott clashed on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire over a proposal for a new levy on tobacco.  It was interesting enough for me to take the trouble to transpose most of the text of the radio interview:

Interviewer: Deborah, why are you calling for this levy?
Deborah Arnott: We’re calling for this levy because basically still too many people are dying from smoking. And the tobacco companies do the damage and they should be paying for it. So we want a levy to go – and this is supported by strong public opinion, nearly two thirds of people say they’d be happy with a 25 pence levy on a packet of cigarettes, and remember cigarettes cost from around 6 pounds to over 9 pounds, so they’re very expensive already, which would go to help smokers quit and prevent young people from taking up smoking, because the public believe that the tobacco industry does the damage and they should be paying for it.
Interviewer: Let’s welcome to this debate Simon Clark who’s the direct of Forest which is a pro-smoking organisation. What do you make of this idea, Simon?
Simon Clark: Pro-choice, not pro-smoking. Well, we don’t think a tobacco levy will work. …Must remember that consumers already pay 86% tobacco taxation on every packet of cigarettes they buy. So smokers and the industry are already making a huge contribution to the economy, much of which goes to paying for smoking-related diseases. Nobody doubts or argues that there are clearly serious health risks associated with smoking, but it’s an informed choice for adults, and if you increasingly put up the price of cigarettes you actually drive people to the black market, and we know there’s a flourishing black market in smuggled cigarettes and counterfeit cigarettes, and criminal gangs don’t care who they sell to: they’re more than happy to sell to children. So what happens is that you lose control of the market, and not only does the government lose revenue, and by association the NHS will lose revenue as well from that tobacco taxation, but actually cigarettes get into the hands of children, so it’s totally and utterly counter-productive.
Interviewer: Deborah, what do you say to that, that this levy would actually take money away from the NHS?
DA: Well, first of all can I address the issue of choice. Two thirds of people take up smoking before the age of 18. It’s a childhood addiction. And two thirds of smokers want to quit, and many more wish they’d never started. So this isn’t a matter of choice. It’s a terrible addiction. It’s as addictive as heroin or cocaine. And smokers themselves say they want help to quit. And the idea that that it would drive people to the illicit market, that’s an issue of enforcement. And as Simon well knows, the industry is complicit in the smuggled market. British-American Tobacco was fined £650,000 just before Christmas for over-supply of tobacco to European markets knowing it was going to be bouncing back here, because there wasn’t a market for their products there.
Interviewer: Let’s talk about this issue of choice. Simon, do you take the point that when you’re dealing with a substance which is highly addictive, choice becomes a slightly slippery word.
SC: No, I totally disagree. I mean, I totally accept that for some people nicotine is addictive. But the reality is that millions of people have quit smoking in recent decades, and people are giving up smoking all the time. My own mother-in-law was a 40-a-day smoker, and she gave up overnight. I’m not suggesting that it’s not difficult for some people to quit, but this idea that it’s as addictive as heroin or cocaine and all the rest of it, I just think this is hyperbole on the part of the antismoking industry. Going back to the tobacco levy, what happens next? Do we have a levy on the food and drink industries? Because clearly if you drink too much, if you’re an excessive drinker, if you’re an alcoholic, it’s going to have a health impact on you. Likewise if you drink too many sugary drinks, or eat fatty foods and dairy products. This all has health impacts as well. So do we have a levy on food and drink as well? It really is utterly nonsense, and especially in terms of tobacco when we’re already paying so much tobacco taxation in the first place. I repeat, 86% of the average price of cigarettes goes to the government already.
Interviewer: Do you feel, Simon, that smokers are being unfairly victimised?
SC: Well, I do. I speak as a non-smoker. I do think that smokers are not doing anything wrong. I accept what Deborah said that there are some smokers who wish to quit and wish they’d never started, but that still leaves millions of people who genuinely enjoy smoking. We don’t hear enough about that. The fact is that a lot of people enjoy smoking. They don’t wish to quit. And actually when they hear people like Deborah on an almost daily basis nagging them to quit, they actually dig their heels in and they reach for their fags in defiance, because they’re fed up…
DA: Can I…
Interviewer: Let’s hear from Deborah on this, Simon.
DA: What Simon forgets to tell you is that his organisation Forest is not a grass roots membership organisation. Its funding comes almost entirely from the tobacco industry, and he’s mouthing tobacco industry rhetoric. These are the lies that the tobacco industry use, and it’s disgusting…
SC: And ASH is funded by the taxpayer.
DA: No, hang on a second.
SC: No, Deborah, you are funded by the taxpayer, and you lobby government!
Interviewer: OK, OK, can you just calm down, because otherwise we can’t hear either of you. Deborah, continue with what you were saying.
DA: Yes. Thank you. We are funded largely by the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
SC: Do you get money from the taxpayer?
DA: Can I finish, Simon!
DA: We get some funding from the Department of Health to support implementation of the Tobacco Control plan for England.
SC: How much?
DA: We had £200,000 last year. Can I just finish what I’m saying. Your funding comes from the tobacco industry. You’re mouthing the tobacco industry lies. This is a highly addictive substance. 80,000 die each year in England, and something like twenty times as many smokers are suffering years of disability from smoking-related diseases.
Interviewer: OK, Deborah, let’s hear from Simon. I mean, Forest is funded mainly by the tobacco industry, isn’t it?
SC: Indeed. Because they want to support their consumers. But I actually can think for myself, and it’s typical of Deborah and tobacco controllers who seem to think we’re all mouthing the messages of the tobacco industry. I can think for myself. Millions of smokers can think for themselves, and millions of smokers have chosen to take up smoking, and they choose to continue smoking because they enjoy it, and nothing that people like Deborah says, particularly this nagging, hectoring tone, it’s not going to change their minds.
Interviewer: Lots more to debate on this topic.

As ever in these sorts of debates, I was disappointed when Simon Clark immediately conceded a great deal of ground. “Nobody doubts or argues that there are clearly serious health risks associated with smoking,” and “Cigarettes get into the hands of children, so it’s totally and utterly counter-productive.” At this point, you might have been forgiven for thinking that both Deborah Arnott and Simon Clark were in the same line of business, and singing from the same hymn sheet.

But after that, he conceded very little.

I scored it as a win for Simon Clark. But really only because the interviewer offered him a dolly of a question with “Do you feel, Simon, that smokers are being unfairly victimised?” That gave him the opportunity to expand on the victimisation of smokers, and to gather the momentum that he sustained for the remainder of the interview.

The reason that Simon Clark was bowled this dolly only emerged at the very end, when the interviewer announced that later on that day, in another programme, it was going to be asked whether “smokers are being unfairly victimised.”

I didn’t hear the other programme. And for all I know, it may well have been decided on it that they weren’t being victimised enough, and should be made to wear yellow stars and scrub the streets. Or is the normally antismoking BBC shifting its position?

The interview raised the question of tactics. Simon Clark’s initial concessions might be seen as an example of reculer pour mieux sauter, because after the initial retreat he gained the initiative, and thereafter advanced.

And I’m beginning to think that Deborah Arnott’s routine depiction of smokers as the captives and serfs of the tobacco industry, helplessly addicted to tobacco, and dutifully mouthing tobacco industry lies (it may have been ‘lines’), is such an awful distortion of reality that it may eventually backfire on her. After all, how many people, when they see a smoker light up in a pub garden, see that smoker as the bonded slave of the tobacco industry, without a will of their own. Very few, I would imagine. Or if they did, they would almost certainly see the same smoker, as he sipped his beer between puffs on his cigarette, as the tied serf of Big Alcohol as well. And when he nibbled on some salted peanuts too, they’d identify him as also the chained and bound prisoner of Big Nut and Big Salt. The dystopian world that is implied here is one in which more or less everything sold by any “industry” of any sort whatsoever is as addictive as heroin or cocaine, and the only reason why anyone buys cars, clothes, shoes, perfumes, books, televisions, computers, and so on, is because they are addicts seeking the high that comes with tearing open the packaging around their latest Nike trainers. Is that really all that drives the global economy?

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About Frank Davis

smoker
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36 Responses to Arnott v. Clark, Round 257

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Still sitting back doing nothing. Sternum and rib pain finally easing off at least enuf to sleep for a few hours at a time……….other than that I feel damn good.

  2. roobeedoo2 says:

    Debs piddles junk science – she’s a con Troller …

    … Riding the gravy train

  3. Nightlight says:

    Nauseating phoney “debate” by controlled opposition. He is debating well within the “truth frame” she had set up. With “leaders” and “pro-smoker” groups like that, who needs enemies. No wonder smokers are the most oppressed and exploited minority in the present society.

    1) He should have pointed out that taking even more from the poorest and already most heavily overtaxed minority in the “civilized” society is grossly unfair.

    2) He shouldn’t have agreed that smoking is harmful to smoker but explained that antismoking is entirely based on junk science (leaping to causal relation from associations on non-randomized samples). He should have asked about hard science, and pointed out that results of animal experiments and randomized studies which all backfired for antismoking

    3) He should have brought up that many people who smoke are self-medicating with tobacco because of its numerous scientifically established medicinal properties. They smoke because nothing works for them as well as this ancient medicinal plant. Hence instead of bringing up food and drinks levy, more apt would have been to compare it with levy on medication and folk remedies, piling even more on people in need.

    4) He should have pointed that chief financial beneficiaries from suppression this medicinal plant are big pharma and medical industry, “coincidentally” the main producers & peddlers of the antismoking junk science and lobbying forces behind antismoker legislations. They are also the chief creator and financial sponsor of the antismoking groups.

    5) A leader of pro-smoker group should be a smoker and proud of it

    6) Pro-smoker group should not collaborate with or be sponsored by the treacherous big tobacco who has backstabbed their customers on every turn

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, I agree with almost all of those points. But… it remains that Forest’s Simon Clark actually is the principal spokesman for smokers in the UK, and he is paid to be this by the tobacco companies. Neither Forest nor the tobacco companies may be quite as firmly on the smokers’ side as we would like (because they concede far too much), but at least they are not actually our enemies.

      Furthermore, I get the impression that Simon Clark’s (and perhaps the tobacco companies as well) resistance is gradually stiffening. For example, my transposition of the above interview doesn’t capture quite how loudly he was shouting at Deborah Arnott. In the past, they’ve often seemed like old chums who regularly meet for a chat over coffee in some radio studio. But not this time. And that’s progress.

      The point I wish to make is that in this war (and it is a war) we can’t pick and choose our allies. We have to work with what we’ve got. We have to find what we are agreed about, and agree to differ about the rest.

      I also think that public opinion on this matter is in flux, and that virulent antismokers like Arnott are beginning to lose this war. Everything is in motion.

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      Re point 5 – the leader must choose baccy …

    • slugbop007 says:

      Right on. Simon Clark blew it.

  4. DenisO says:

    Simon was wise not to answer that smoking is harmless; he would have destroyed his credibility. His logic was superior, and even though most would agree tax revenue would decrease if they increased the tax further, politicians don’t care and will increase them, with any excuse. Another good argument is that allowing smokers to kill themselves, if that is the sure result of smoking, the deaths would reduce the financial burden on the Government’s health care system. Reducing tobacco taxes should be even more beneficial. Then Deborah would have to find another job; not easy.
    IMO, if there are truly as many as 20% of the population smokers, that should be a sizable voting block. If they were outwardly vocal against politicians who persecute smokers, that voting threat should get their attention. Deborah wouldn’t care, as long as she could still try to force people to do one thing or another, but politicians would take notice if one or two of their ilk lost an election in a close district, where smokers could claim they were responsible for the loss.
    It might take a couple of elections, with selected targets, but the tactic would soon be picked-up in many election districts. It wouldn’t quiet the anti-tobacco fanatics, but their influence would take a hit.
    Regards,

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      I agree, political action is the only viable solution. All the debates in the world will fall on deaf ears. Citing studies that show how weak the actual proof of harm from both second hand smoke and primary smoking will be rejected because a) the listener doesn’t really understand the science, 2} they have been indoctrinated by the propaganda, and/or 3) they just don’t like smoke. A few strategic electoral losses would be worth their weight in fine Virginia tobacco.

    • Some French bloke says:

      Simon was wise not to answer that smoking is harmless; he would have destroyed his credibility.

      That’s comparable to a climate sceptic having to fully endorse the tenets of the official climate “science” catechism before simply having access to the debate.

      I can recall hearing hard-core climate sceptics not mincing their words in some MainStream Media outlets, but not one hard-core tobacco harm “denialist”, ever. The former having, say, only 3% air time (or space in the printed press) is grieviously unfair, and if they had 47%, that would still be slightly unfair, yet the difference between having 97% and 53% less time (or space) than your opponent in a debate is assuredly less significant than the difference between being afforded only 3% of the air time and no space or time at all! Yet that’s the treatment you’ll get from the MSM if you dare cross the line of the first-hand smoke health risk.
      One can say that as far as the MSM is concerned, the fundamental controversy on tobacco and health has been effectively suppressed for the last couple of decades, and *that* is outrageously unfair.

  5. magnetic01 says:

    From Godber’s address at the 3rd World Conference on Smoking & Health (1975):

    “If we start with the view that we can begin to get rid of cigarette smoking from many communal occasions and that we can and should make it more and more difficult for the individual to smoke cigarettes in public, and if we can eliminate the false message of the advertisers, I believe we could have a rapidly cumulative effect…..There are plenty of weapons of persuasion, of restriction, of financial penalty by price and tax increases with which we could seriously hope to reduce the consumption of cigarettes by a substantial portion within 5 years.”

    Prohibition of the sale/use of tobacco is not an option. So the prohibitionists push a raft of punitive measures to curb the use of tobacco. In 1975 there were no studies on the “burden on the health system” of smoking. Tax increases are solely a punitive measure. “Burden on the health care system” is just one of the fabricated storylines fed to the public in inflicting this punitive measure. Government actually likes this punitive measure. It means way, way more money in the coffers.

    Extortionate taxes on tobacco are regressive. The increasing price of cigarettes hits those of low income the most; for some it becomes de facto prohibition.

    In some countries, e.g., Australia, there have been so many tax increases on tobacco that prohibitionists/government have given up attempting to justify additional tax increases as the need to cover the “burden of smoking on the health system”. They are now proposed solely as a deterrent to smoking. On the one hand government claims that smoking is due to a “terrible addiction”….. “an addiction like cocaine or heroin”. Yet it then hikes tobacco taxes sky-high, where revenue is ever-increasing. By their own definitions, government is now the major beneficiary from what it considers a “terrible addiction”. In this regard prohibitionists/government must believe, erroneously, they have found the “cure” for “nicotine addiction” (which they constantly refer to smoking as being) – punitive extortionate taxes. Prohibitionists/government are never asked this question: Their “cure” is no cure. It’s simply fleecing smokers, making especially the poor poorer. This is obscene.

    Actually occurring is that prohibitionists and government have created a racket masqueraded as “health promotion”. Government has learned to appease prohibitionists short of the prohibition of the sale/use of tobacco, e.g., ever wider smoking bans. In turn, government will receive full, histrionic support from the prohibitionists for increased taxes on tobacco, i.e., license to extort. That’s the massive pay-off for government.

    The government is saying to smokers: “We’re going to rob you blind through baseless extortionate taxes. If you want to avoid being robbed, quit smoking. If you continue to smoke, we will rob you. It’s not our fault; you’ve been warned. If you’re fleeced, you’re to blame”. This is the appalling conduct by government that supposedly represents the public, which includes smokers. What recourse is there when your own government is attempting to rob you by ever-increasing amounts?

    • waltc says:

      “As addictive as heroin” is a scare-argument of convenience. If heroin were as “addictive as smoking ” then heroin addicts would easily and rationally have quit overnight when the cost, not only in money but in prison time, became a factor. (Oh. A $10 bag’s now $12.50? Well, that does it for ME!) if smokers are addicts then money’s no object, as it isn’t and has never been for hard drug addicts and, as Magnetico points out, the government is then in the business of cruelly exploiting addicts and profiting from their addiction. Make the analogy, instead, to coffee (or in England, tea?) and see what would happen if the government taxed it at 10 bucks a cup or 40 bucks a pound while banning its use in restaurants, bars, offices , schools, hospitals, hotels, apartment buildings, (” this is a caffeine-free premises”) patios, stadiums, parks, beaches, trains, planes, and all the ships at sea. Would the drowsy, edgy pissed-off citizens then be dubbed addicts? Or just pissed-off citizens?

  6. waltc says:

    Oh, a PS from yesterday, Frank. Yes, if morphic resonance exists, then anti-anti-smoking could and in any case I believe will, catch on around the world almost simultaneously. A tidal wave of disgust that will rise so rapidly that heads will spin and will, in its wake, wash away anti-food and anti-drink, and, picture it, there’ll be Debbie and Stanton, clinging to flotsam, no rescue in sight. I may not live long enough to see the day but it might be worth sticking around for.

    • Frank Davis says:

      anti-anti-smoking could and in any case I believe will, catch on around the world almost simultaneously.

      I think it will too. But it will be for the simple reason that if you hold a lot of cups of water over a fire for long enough, they’ll boil over more or less simultaneously.

  7. Rose says:

    Deborah Arnott

    “nearly two thirds of people say they’d be happy with a 25 pence levy on a packet of cigarettes”

    Which people? In your office, in the local post office? Where? Who did you personally talk to?

    “two thirds of smokers want to quit”

    Name them, when do you ever mix with people smoking outside?

    “smokers themselves say they want help to quit”

    Who did you ask?

    After looking at how they contrived to persuade politicians to vote for a ban, I have no faith in Deborah Arnott’s figures.

    The 2006 Smoking Ban Survey

    “The survey was conducted by BMRB International using the BMRB Access Omnibus (telephone) survey between 20-22 January 2006. It involved 831 adults aged 16+ in England.”

    Peter Hollins, Director General of the British Heart Foundation, commented:

    “This poll demonstrates the strength of public support in England, as in the rest of the UK, for an end to smoking in workplaces and enclosed public spaces.”

    That’s just the strength of 582 people if my maths is right.

    “ASH Director Deborah Arnott commented:

    “The message to MPs could not be clearer. The public wants smokefree legislation. They want it in England, just as they do in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland”

    http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/new-poll-shows-public-back-health-select-committee-amendment-on-smokefree-law

    On the strength of a telephone call to only 831 people out of the whole population of England, Deborah Arnott felt she was able to say that 70% of the public wanted “ALL enclosed workplaces, including all pubs and clubs smokefree”

    I wonder who they phoned?

    • Rose says:

      Sorry about that, could you fix it for me please, Frank?

      It should have read 831 adults aged 16+ in England

      More coffee needed.

    • slugbop007 says:

      The same methods are being used by Tobacco Control in Quebec. A survey sample of around 1000 respondents. Repeated over and over with nearly the same results. Always the same people? Who knows? They are very vague about their methods, as they are with their grossly exaggerated statistics.

  8. ricktransit says:

    “adults aged 16+”? Now hang on a minute! There’s something very fishy going on here. TC are usually keen to refer to anyone under 18 as a “child” if they take up smoking – but if they’re keen on smoking bans in pubs they suddenly become adults at 16. You can prove anything you like if you keep changing the rules!

    Meanwhile, on the addiction business – how can Arnott be allowed to get away with her soundbite about tobacco being more addictive than heroin every time she brings it up? She’s an ex-smoker herself – surely someone should at least ask her how much trouble she had in giving up? Was it like the cold turkey scene in Trainspotting?

    • slugbop007 says:

      Deborah Arnott an ex-smoker? Figures. They make up some of worst fanatics. Like heroin addicts who find Jesus. The former health minister in Australia claimed that her father’s death was tobacco related, therefore everybody in the world had to stop smoking. A twisted sort of logic.

  9. prog says:

    Talking #elmau #g7 #cosedilavoro #germania

    A post shared by Nomfup (@nomfup) on

    https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/244497-obama-smoking-president-caught-on-camera-holding-pack-of-cigarettes

    Smoking or sex (at least with his dreadful other half)?

  10. Joe L. says:

    O/T: It appears the Catholic Church, desperate to change its image and win back followers after years of child sex-abuse scandals, has conceded to science. No, not genuine, plausible science, like the theory of evolution (God forbid — that contradicts their very foundation!). Rather, the Church has finally recognized the power of faith-based junk science … and junk scientists are ecstatic to have them on board! If this isn’t discrediting enough to turn people into ‘deniers,’ I don’t know what ever will:

    Scientists say pope may be the key player on climate change

  11. Steven says:

    I know we have been through this before,but how much does arnott get paid for spouting off her rubbish.perhaps we need a spokesperson who doesn’t get paid by the tobacco industry,somebody who does it for no financial gain.

    • Jessica's Clap-Trap says:

    • nisakiman says:

      That’s all very well, Steven, but the bills still need to be paid. It would be very nice to have a mega-rich philanthropist funding an organisation like Forest, but pro-choice mega-rich philanthropists are a bit thin on the ground.

      I believe Ms Arnott gets around £80K pa plus expenses for her part in the prosecution of the anti-tobacco inquisition – I bet Simon Clark doesn’t come anywhere near that sum for his efforts. You’d think that earning all that money for persecuting people would put a smile on her face, but every photo I’ve seen of her, she looks like she’s just sucked a lemon. Maybe that’s what being a rabid zealot does to you.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        Nik Nak, she’s not a zealot, she’s a Roman petty functionary in the Tobacco Control Empire which, it seems to me, is crumbling:

        http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=zealot&searchmode=none

        Click back to the root, ‘zeal’ – that sounds more like us. My mother when she was in hospital last year introduced me to all the nurses as “My daughter. The militant smoker.” *rolls eyes*.

        If it wasn’t for the ISIS survey I might have stayed anonymous online and never have plucked up courage to defend smoking in real life, in everyday conversations with real people. I don’t try to convert them to smoking, I’m not paid by ‘Big Tobacco’ but often I’ll get the response, “Oh yeah, I never thought of it like that before”. And I always try to help smokers feel less guilty about smoking with information on its benefits provide by this site and its gang of expert commentators.

        I am astonished by what Tony has written about the 600+% tax on a packet of cigarettes – I never thought of it like that before ;)

    • “how much does arnott get paid”

      Over £80k last year plus a enhanced pension.

      http://dickpuddlecote.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/ashs-new-e-cigs-troubleshooter-and-her.html

  12. Tony says:

    If we could alert the public to the true tax rate that smokers are being forced to pay (600%+), I think it would help prompt public disgust with Government and the anti-smoking industry/cartel.

    I posted the following figures on Simon Clark’s blog:

    The real tax rate is over 600%.

    People complain and argue the merits of taxing luxury goods at 20% (VAT). This takes a £1 product up to £1.20. The 20p tax makes up around 17% of the retail price (0.2/1.2).

    Now consider cigarettes where, as you rightly say, 86% of the retail price is tax (approx 6/7). So the actual tax rate, for comparison with VAT at 20%, is over 600%. Taking a £1 product up to £7 (or more).

    So the really important figure is that cigarettes are taxed at over 600%. Outrageous!

    Please check my figures if you find them hard to believe.

  13. garyk30 says:

    Simon might have used questions to shut-up Arnott.
    When she said that smoking ‘kills’ 80,000 per year; that is, ‘smoking causes’ 80,000 deaths per year.
    He might have shown this and asked why the govt does not list smoking as one of the leading ’causes’ of death in the UK.

    Leading causes of deaths registered in England and Wales, 2013

    Cause

    Heart disease
    Lung cancer
    Dementia and Alzheimer’s
    Emphysema/bronchitis
    Cerebrovascular diseases
    Flu/pneumonia
    Prostate cancer
    Bowel cancer
    Lymphoid cancer
    Liver disease
    Throat cancer
    Suicide
    Urinary disease
    Pancreatic cancer
    Heart failure

    http://visual.ons.gov.uk/what-are-the-top-causes-of-death-by-age-and-gender/

  14. beobrigitte says:

    I do think that smokers are not doing anything wrong. I accept what Deborah said that there are some smokers who wish to quit and wish they’d never started, but that still leaves millions of people who genuinely enjoy smoking. We don’t hear enough about that. The fact is that a lot of people enjoy smoking. They don’t wish to quit. And actually when they hear people like Deborah on an almost daily basis nagging them to quit, they actually dig their heels in and they reach for their fags in defiance, because they’re fed up…
    DA: Can I…
    Interviewer: Let’s hear from Deborah on this, Simon.
    DA: What Simon forgets to tell you is that his organisation Forest is not a grass roots membership organisation. Its funding comes almost entirely from the tobacco industry, and he’s mouthing tobacco industry rhetoric. These are the lies that the tobacco industry use, and it’s disgusting…

    Here it would have been a great opportunity to point out to DA that the laws lobbied by e.g. ASH are based on Tobacco Control&friends funded research. This can hardly be termed INDEPENDENT research, can it?

    Arnott was trying to avoid the question how much funding ASH milks out of our spineless government. Eventually she had to disclose:
    DA: We get some funding from the Department of Health to support implementation of the Tobacco Control plan for England.
    (Note the “Tobacco Control plan for England” based on whose funding “research”?)
    SC: How much?
    DA: We had £200,000 last year. Can I just finish what I’m saying. Your funding comes from the tobacco industry. You’re mouthing the tobacco industry lies. This is a highly addictive substance. 80,000 die each year in England, and something like twenty times as many smokers are suffering years of disability from smoking-related diseases.

    80,000 die in England each year + something like 20 times as many smokers are suffering years of disability from smoking-related diseases?
    And then Arnott uses this vague “smoking-related” term? She also does omit the ages of the people “suffering” from the so-called “smoking-related” illnesses….. Old people do die of a range of illnesses due to nature – A heart beating 68x/minute for 70 years just isn’t like the heart of a 20 year old… The same applies to every other organs in our body. WE AGE. AND THEN WE DIE. That is a normal process.
    Arnott increased the figure of 3000 “smoking-related” death/year to 80,000. Interesting.

    SC: Indeed. Because they want to support their consumers. But I actually can think for myself, and it’s typical of Deborah and tobacco controllers who seem to think we’re all mouthing the messages of the tobacco industry. I can think for myself. Millions of smokers can think for themselves, and millions of smokers have chosen to take up smoking, and they choose to continue smoking because they enjoy it, and nothing that people like Deborah says, particularly this nagging, hectoring tone, it’s not going to change their minds.
    I sure do wish that the tobacco industry starts supporting it’s customers!!!!! As for the rest, indeed, Arnott’s nagging, hectoring tone is not going to change my mind. Quite the opposite.

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