Colin Wragg

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Colin Wragg was Head of Corporate & Legal Affairs at Imperial Tobacco from January 2011 to October 2014.1

Criticising and Discrediting Public Health Scientists

In 2011, Wragg publicly criticised a report2 commissioned by the UK Department of Health and published by University of Stirling Professor Linda Bauld, summarising the impact of England’s smoke-free legislation.3 The report concluded that the legislation had positive public health impacts, without having significant negative impacts on the hospitality industry (as predicted by the tobacco industry).
Questioning Bauld’s impartiality and her scientific competence, Wragg called the research findings “narrow and selective, ignoring much of the evidence base and failing to acknowledge anything that does not support her position”.4 Imperial Tobacco further published a paper titled “The Bauld Truth – The Impact of Smokefree Legislation in England: A critique of the evidence review using publicly available information”. This document criticised Bauld’s three-year review as being “lazy and deliberately selective” and accused Bauld of having a conflict of interest due to her links to public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).5

Opposing Plain Packaging: Mobilising Support for Tobacco Industry’s Position

In 2011, Wragg was featured in the Rural Retailer Magazine, published by the Rural Shops Alliance, in which he argued against Plain Packaging, claiming that the measure would increase illicit tobacco trade and that there was no evidence that it would work.6 These arguments are part of a well-documented tobacco industry strategy to oppose plain packaging measures across the world. For more information, go to our page on Industry Arguments Against Plain Packaging.
In April 2012, Wragg was a speaker at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation Conference, informing the audience about the UK Government’s consultation on plain packaging and encouraging the audience to respond to “say ‘no’ to plain packs”.7

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  1. C. Wragg. Linkedin Profile, undated, accessed April 2017
  2. L. Bauld, Impact of smokefree legislation: evidence review, Department of Health, March 2011, accessed April 2017
  3. A. Pescod, DoH report on tobacco criticised, The Morning Advertiser, 1 July 2011, accessed April 2017
  4. R. Hegarty, Tobacco research by ASH board member has Imperial fuming, The Grocer, 2 July 2011, available from (by subscription), accessed April 2017
  5. Imperial Tobacco Group, The Bauld truth – The Impact of Smokefree Legislation in England: A critique of the evidence review using publicly available information, June 2011, accessed April 2017
  6. Rural Shops Alliance, Developments in the Tobacco Industry, Rural Retailer Magazine, Winter 2011/12
  7. Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF), Colin Wragg Imperial Tobacco (2), SGF Flickr, 21 April 2012, accessed April 2017