Nigel Evans

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Nigel (Martin) Evans has been the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Ribble Valley, Lancashire, England, since May 2012.

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

‘Wined and Dined’ Philip Morris

An article in The Guardian revealed that Evans had hosted a reception for Philip Morris International (PMI) in March 2017. 1
John Whittingdale MP hosted a similar event for PMI in November 2016.
Both meetings, hosted in parliament, appear to be part of PMI’s strategy to use harm reduction and the company’s Next Generation Products to help normalise the company and its business.
PMI’s Peter Nixon told The Guardian:

“We have organised a number of meetings, hosted by parliamentarians from across the political divide, to explain our company’s smoke free goals and our plans to develop less harmful alternatives to cigarettes”.

Nixon added:

“In meeting MPs and lords, we have also explained the role we believe we can play in helping the Government to achieve the goals of the tobacco control plan: ‘Towards a smoke-free generation'”.

The reception was condemned by Labour’s health spokesperson, Justin Madders, who said:

“Members of parliament ought to be setting a lead on public health issues and, with such a well-established link between tobacco and poor health, it seems incongruous and unsettling for so many tobacco companies to be hosting events in parliament”.

Accepted Hospitality from the Tobacco Industry

In October 2017, Evans attended a drinks party jointly hosted by Forest and the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
On his blog, Simon Clark, Director of Forest, recounted that Evans had said that “this is the best event at the conference because people are allowed to do as they want”.2
In 2011, Evans took hospitality from Japan Tobacco International (JTI) on two occasions. 3
In May, Evans accepted a ticket to the Chelsea Flower Show, worth £556.40. In December that year, he accepted two tickets for a Paul McCartney concert at the O2 Arena, worth £350.
JTI spent £23,000 entertaining Evans and 19 other MPs in 2011.4 For more information, visit Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians.
In 1999 Evans also accepted tickets to the Wimbledon Men’s Final from Imperial Tobacco.5

Opposed Tobacco Control Measures in the UK

Against Plain Packaging

Following the adoption of the 2014 Tobacco Products Directive (TPD), Evans urged then UK Prime Minister David Cameron to ensure “that any directive or legislation coming out of Brussels is not gold plated by his own Government”.6
Evans was specifically referring to plain packaging.
TPD rules do not mandate plain packaging but welcome EU member states to go beyond the Directive’s health warning requirements and introduce plain packaging.
In a blog on the Conservative Party website, Evans expressed his displeasure at the UK Government’s proposed introduction of plain packaging, echoing several tobacco industry arguments against plain packaging.7

Against Tobacco Advertising Ban

In 2001 Evans publicly called for the UK Government to drop its plans to ban tobacco advertising.
Speaking to local newspaper Lancashire Telegraph, Evans revealed he was the owner of a corner shop in Swansea (Wales), and claimed that the advertising ban was proposed out of “mere political correctness”.8
Evans claimed that health warnings on the packs were far more effective than tobacco advertisements. He suggested that the Government ought to focus on public awareness campaigns and tackling tobacco smuggling instead.
His opposition to the tobacco advertising ban was unsuccessful. Click here for a timeline of the gradual introduction of tobacco advertising restrictions in the UK.

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant link

Profile of Nigel Evans on TheyWorkForYou website.

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  1. R. Mason, Tory and DUP MPs criticised for ‘wining and dining’ tobacco firms, The Guardian , 29 December 2017, accessed January 2018
  2. S. Clark, Morning after the night before, Taking Liberties blog, 5 October 2017, accessed January 2018
  3. House of Commons Publications, ‘Register of Members’ Financial Interests – as at 13th December 2011′ (pdf), 13 December 2011, accessed January 2018
  4. 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 January 2018
  5. G. Hinsliff, Tories in U-turn to fight cigarette advertising ban, The Guardian, 21 January 2001, accessed January 2018
  6. N. Evans, Nigel Evans MP: end this blatant gold plating of European rules on tobacco,, 14 September 2014, accessed January 2018

  7. Without giving supporting evidence, Evans claimed that “this meddling will only result in other equally stupid legislation coming forward at a later stage with other products”, that it was “tampering in such a brutal way with the intellectual property”, and that he suspected “it will not work”.
  8. Cig shop owner MP’s ‘no’ to ban, Lancashire Telegraph, 24 January 2001, accessed January 2018