Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Smoking: Government lobbying Government

Following on from the last post about smoking, you may recall that back in August, that giant of a man (literally and figuratively), Eric Pickles, made an announcement that he wanted to see an end to public money being spent in order to influence the use of other public money, alternatively known as "government lobbying government". The question is, will it apply to the anti-smoking lobby?

You see, the freedom to smoke organisation, Forest, have drawn up a report today that shows how the anti-smoking lobby are being funded by public money to further lobby for greater use of public money to achieve their ends where no one smokes ever.

For example, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH UK) across the UK have received millions of pounds in public money in order to carry out research with the purpose of lobbying the government to implement its desired "smoke-free" policies. The charity responsible for "No Smoking Day" - or as I prefer to call it, "Time for Fag Day", is funded by the NHS through the Department of Health

You may have not have heard of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health, however according to their register of interests, they often receive support and "occasional funding of receptions" from ASH UK. It doesn't take a genius to square the circle here does it?

So, can we expect lobbying of government by government on the matter of anti-smoking campaigns to end as per Eric Pickles announcement? Probably not.

Read the full report here.

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