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« Smoking bans and the EU | Main | MP's campaign for review of the smoking ban to continue »

Tobacco: who's in control?

No, this isn't an episode of Spooks, but it could be. Note: "contains some violence and other disturbing scenes".

H/T British American Tobacco

Reader Comments (12)

A timely reminder from BAT. When will tobacco control get the message, that pricing and all the other measures are counter productive. Americans are counting the cost of class A drug enforcement.

"MEXICO CITY — After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread."

May I remind you that the cocaine and heroin market is estimated at $130 billion dwarfed by tobacco at $500.

It was reported ths week in Ireland:

"In some areas the sellers are delivering flyers in housing estates with "price lists" for the illegally branded cigarettes and a mobile telephone number to contact to make a purchase, according to a lobby group set up to fight the black market for tobacco....

In some areas the sellers are delivering flyers in housing estates with "price lists" for the illegally branded cigarettes and a mobile telephone number to contact to make a purchase, according to a lobby group set up to fight the black market for tobacco...

In some areas the sellers are delivering flyers in housing estates with "price lists" for the illegally branded cigarettes and a mobile telephone number to contact to make a purchase, according to a lobby group set up to fight the black market for tobacco.

It was recently revealed that children as young as 10 were being used by criminal gangs to sell smuggled cigarettes at markets but now, according to Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS), leaflets are being posted through letter-boxes advertising cigarettes at less than half-price."

October 16, 2010 at 12:42 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

JD Rockefeller the great American Industrialist, tee totaller and anti alcohol letter written in 1932.

"When Prohibition was introduced, I hoped that it would be widely supported by public opinion and the day would soon come when the evil effects of alcohol would be recognized. I have slowly and reluctantly come to believe that this has not been the result. Instead, drinking has generally increased; the speakeasy has replaced the saloon; a vast army of lawbreakers has appeared; many of our best citizens have openly ignored Prohibition; respect for the law has been greatly lessened; and crime has increased to a level never seen before."

October 16, 2010 at 12:49 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

This interview with David E. Kaplan of the Center for Public Integrity.

"The tobacco-smuggling business helps fund organized crime and terrorist groups, and according to a new study, the business stretches from counterfeiters in China and renegade factories in Russia to Indian reservations in New York and warlords in Pakistan and North Africa."

"If you can believe it, as bad as cigarettes are for you, some of these bootleg smokes are much, much worse. There's all kinds of crud in them, I mean heavy metals like cadmium, and there's arsenic. Studies have found high rates of pesticides, rat poison, even human feces.

"I mean, even the industry has trouble figuring out which are the legitimate brands and which aren't. They can even copy, like, the holographic images that are on Marlboro packs to thwart counterfeiters..... something like 12 percent of all sales are now contraband in the worldwide tobacco market. It's almost 700 billion cigarettes, and again, it's hard to tell when you're buying a legitimate brand."

"Well, we zeroed in on the Pakistan Taliban in particular because there's a very large and lucrative tobacco industry in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier...Part of it is through heroin shipments. They tax the shipments as they come from Afghanistan into Pakistan.....Well, whether it's narcotics like heroin and opium or blood diamonds or illegal timber harvesting, or illicit tobacco - tobacco smuggling, when they fuel civil wars and insurgencies and other conflicts..

October 16, 2010 at 13:32 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

I suppose I could write an essay on this but lessons from history prove quite simply.
Prohibition = Crime.

They still don't get it do they ?

I suppose they will just go the same way as the disasterously failed drug war and claim it to be a success

October 16, 2010 at 14:38 | Unregistered CommenterSpecky

Excellent. Shared it. It's about time the tobacco industry helped in the fight back to put the issue in an accurate perspective. More please :)

October 16, 2010 at 21:06 | Unregistered CommenterPat Nurse

Prohibition will always fail as has been rightly pointed out.

What hasn't been calculated as yet, is how much damage the current methods of prohibition is causing.

The cost will eventually be ascertained, and the sooner the better. It's not just businesses that are being sacrificed here, it's lives as well.

Not one person has yet been saved as a result of the smoking ban, but we are all aware that several have lost their lives as a result.

October 16, 2010 at 23:04 | Unregistered CommenterMary

The Anti-Smoking lobby have created this problem by forever demanding higher and higher taxes on tobacco products.

October 17, 2010 at 0:23 | Unregistered CommenterEddie Douthwaite

Brilliant little film !

And rather makes you wonder whether ALL those involved in Tobacco Control are quite the White Knights that they like to pretend.

Too sophisticated ? Too 'conspiratorial' ? Think again...........................

October 17, 2010 at 10:20 | Unregistered CommenterMartin V

It doesent matter that no one was saved or how many people lost their life as a result of the smoking ban, as long as Governments get their big wages and perks and their massive pensions out of it, and more importantly keep themselves and their crony quangos in power, thats the name of the game and us plebes can just suck it up.

October 17, 2010 at 12:56 | Unregistered Commenterann

You guys may want to take a copy of this as an example of toe curling hypocisy. In January 2003 North Dakota "The measure, which would make selling or using tobacco products except for using it for relgious purposes misdemeanors, failed by an 88-4 vote."

Who were the most veherment in opposing the ban: "Belter told the House that committee members were frustrated last week with the testimony from anti-tobacco groups that testified against the tobacco ban, including the North Dakota Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, North Dakota Public Health Association and North Dakota Nurses Association.

There's no evidence banning tobacco would prevent and reduce tobacco use because no such approach has been implemented, the groups argued. The ban also could take away certain funding forthese groups for tobacco control programs."

October 17, 2010 at 13:25 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

actually I see this as self-seving on behalf of the tobacco companies. The display ban and plain packaging threatens their branding, so suddenly they become all pro-active. Where were they when trying to stop the smoking ban extending to pubs? Where are they now? The problem is that the tobacco companies have always seen their customers as the retailers - not the actual smokers.

The tobacco companies have left the smokers out in the cold (literally) by not fighting the ban - I can't help thinking - bollocks to them, and their brands.

October 18, 2010 at 7:24 | Unregistered CommenterMark Butcher

Precisely Mark- they are only interested in sales hence why they cant care less whether smoking is banned or not in public places.

October 20, 2010 at 14:34 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

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