Category:Think Tanks

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For the tobacco industry, think tanks play an important role in indirect lobbying of government. Denied direct lobbying access to governments due to Article 5.3 of the UN Convention on Tobacco Control, an obvious route to influence policy and debate is by funding think tanks. This is called Third Party Techniques.

In the UK, though, most right-wing and libertarian think tanks do not disclose who funds them, so the link to the tobacco industry, if it exists, is often hidden. The millions of tobacco industry documents in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library do show that certain leading right wing UK think tanks such as the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs used to receive tobacco funding. The ASI, for example, recently admitted that it still received £9,000 a year from the industry. [1]

The benefit for tobacco companies is that these think tanks provide an echo-chamber for the industry, especially if they dress up the smoking and health debate in terms of freedom, the "nanny state" and excessive regulation. Michael Prideaux, BAT’s communications director concedes that “I think the libertarian argument resonates among people who wouldn’t normally take notice of what the tobacco industry say". [1]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Christopher Thompson, Big Tobacco campaigns on freedom, The Financial Times, 6 April 2012


The following think tanks (and people associated with them), are involved in the smoking debate: