Alun Cairns

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Alun Cairns became the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, in May 2010.

In March 2016 Cairns became Secretary of State for Wales.
Previously he served as Under Secretary of State for Wales (July 2014-March 2016).

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Accepted Tobacco Hospitality

In May 2011 Cairns accepted two tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show from Japan Tobacco International (JTI), worth GB£1,132.80.1

JTI spent GB£23,000 entertaining MPs in the UK in six months during 2011.2

The following year, Cairns accepted another two tickets to the same event from JTI, worth GB£1,188.3
For more details, see Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians.

Opposed Tobacco Control Measures in the UK

Against Plain Packaging in 2012

Cairns was one of the 50 MPs who wrote to then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012 expressing serious concerns over plain packaging proposals.4

“There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit; no country in the world has yet to introduce it. However, such a measure could have extremely negative consequences elsewhere. The proposal will be a smuggler’s charter. … this policy threatens more than 5,500 jobs directly employed by the UK tobacco sector, and over 65,000 valued jobs in the associated supply chain. … Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation”

However, in February 2014, Cairns voted in favour of tabled amendments to the Children and Families Bill which would enable the UK government to:

1. Introduce regulations requiring plain packaging for tobacco products;

2. Introduce regulations making it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to children under 18;

3. Make it an offence for an adult to buy cigarettes for anyone under the age of 18 (proxy purchasing).56

In the whipped vote, 453 MPs voted in favour of the amendments and only 24 voted against.

Against SmokeFree Legislation

In June 2011, Cairns voted against a Private Member’s Bill banning smoking in cars carrying children.7 The bill was supported by the British Lung Foundation.8

In July 2010, Cairns signed an Early Day Motion calling for a review of the smoking ban.9

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Profile of Alun Cairns on TheyWorkForYou website.

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  1. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 13th December 2011 report, 13 December 2011, accessed December 2011
  2. M. Goslett, K. Gladdis, ‘Tobacco firm gave thousands of pounds worth of hospitality to nine MPs who opposed smoking bill’, Daily Mail, 23 November 2011, accessed December 2011
  3. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 4th February 2013 report, 4th February 2013, accessed February 2015
  4. M. Barrett, 34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express “serious concerns” about plain tobacco packaging, ”Conservative Home”, 2 July 2012, accessed February 2015
  5. S. MacGuill. House of Enablers – Does anything now go for tobacco control in the UK? Euromonitor International, 11 February 2014
  6. Smokefree Action Coalition. SFAC welcomes Parliament’s support for a package of measures to reduce smoking and protect children. Smokefree Action Coalition News, 10 February 2014
  7. Hansard, Smoking in Private Vehicles bill first reading in the House of Commons, 22 June 2011, accessed December 2011
  8. British Lung Foundation,‘Alex Cunningham MP successfully tabled a motion to stop smoking in cars with children’, press release, 22 June 2011, accessed December 2011
  9. House of Commons website, Early day motion 406 – Review of smoking ban in pubs and clubs, 6 July 2010, accessed December 2011