BMJ article warns of industry interference with smoke-free generation legislation


An opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) highlights the need to prevent new UK legislation being “blocked, diluted or delayed” by the tobacco industry, and the need for politicians, the media, and the health community to anticipate industry  arguments and tactics.

The authors outline three main arguments they predict will be used by industry, front groups and other third parties in response to the proposal, that industry:

  • will invoke libertarianism and the loss of personal freedom, and this is a ‘slippery slope’ to other bans.
  • will claim that the policy would be unworkable and impossible to police.
  • there will be unintended consequences, including increased cigarette smuggling,  negative economic impacts, and job losses.

The authors state:

“It is therefore crucial that UK politicians—and lawmakers in the many other countries that will inevitably take inspiration from this groundbreaking plan—are alert to these strategies, understand their disingenuity, and reject them outright.”

Read the article:

Sunak’s smoke-free generation: spare a thought for the tobacco industry, G. Hartwell, A. B Gilmore, M.C. I van Schalkwyk, M, McKee. BMJ, 383:p2922, 2023, doi:10.1136/bmj.p2922

See also:

Tobacco Tactics page on Tobacco Industry Tactics

Tobacco Tactics page on Tobacco Industry Interference with Endgame Policies


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