Therese Coffey

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Therese Coffey has been the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Suffolk Coastal in England since May 2010.1

Coffey was appointed Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions on 8 September 2019. Prior to that she was Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for a short period. In July 2016 Coffey was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 17 July 2016 to 25 July 2019.2

Relationship with the Tobacco Industry

Accepted Tobacco Hospitality

In May 2011 Coffey accepted hospitality worth £1,132.80, in the form of two tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show, from tobacco company Gallaher, owned by Japan Tobacco International (JTI).3
JTI spent £23,000 entertaining MPs in the UK in six months during 2011.4 For more details, see Tobacco Industry Hospitality for UK Politicians

Opposed Tobacco Control Measures in the UK

Against Plain Packaging

Coffey was one of the 50 MPs who wrote to then Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012 expressing serious concerns over plain packaging proposals.5

“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.”

She further opposed the move in a free vote in the House of Commons.6

Against Smoke-Free Legislation

In October 2010 Coffey voted for the smoking ban to be overturned.7
A few months earlier, in July 2010, Coffey had signed an Early Day Motion calling for a review of the smoking ban.8
In June 2011, Coffey voted against a Private Member’s Bill banning smoking in cars carrying children.9 The bill was supported by the British Lung Foundation.1011


Donna Edmunds, Director of Research at Progressive Vision previously worked for Coffey.

TobaccoTactics Resources

Relevant Link

Profile of Therese Coffey on TheyWorkForYou website.

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  1. Therese Coffey,, undated, accessed April 2019
  2. UK Government website, The RT Hon Therese Coffey, undated, accessed June 2020
  3. House of Commons Publications, Register of Members’ Financial Interests – 13th December 2011 report, 13 December 2011, accessed April 2019
  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 April 2019
  5. M. Barrett, 34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express “serious concerns” about plain tobacco packaging, Conservative Home, 2 July 2012, accessed April 2019
  6. P. Geater, Mixed views over packaging ban, East Anglian Daily Times, 13 March 2015, accessed April 2019
  7. J. Isaby, David Nuttall’s attempt to relax the smoking ban falls at the first hurdle – but 77 Tory MPs vote for his Bill (with 38 opposing it), ConservativeHome, 14 October 2010, accessed April 2019
  8. House of Commons, Early day motion 406 – Review of smoking ban in pubs and clubs, 6 July 2010, accessed April 2019
  9. Hansard, Smoking in Private Vehicles bill first reading in the House of Commons, 22 June 2011, accessed April 2019
  10. British Lung Foundation, Smoking in cars – together we can make change happen, Press release, 16 October 2011, accessed April 2019
  11. A. Cunningham, Comment: Smoking ban is needed to protect children,, 26 June 2011, accessed April 2019