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Saturday, 23 June 2012

What Moans May Come

In reference to Simon Clark's latest post, I've known about The House Magazine's cover advertisement for a few days now since I saw it on Twitter.  I saw relatively few tweets about it.  I did see CRUK wasn't best pleased with it after someone complained to them about it. I have no idea who paid for and commissioned this advertisement, but this was an enormous coup for the opponents of plain packs, particularly if it rankled Stephen Williams MP as Simon suggests it may have.

Despite this coup, I don't need a crystal ball to tell me how the story will go after this.  Every anti-smoker group (CRUK, ASH, FRESH, etc.) will issue press releases or do interviews claiming that tobacco companies or those naughty groups funded by tobacco companies are attempting to influence public health policy by lobbying and advertising directly to politicians. They will claim it is outrageous, and that it's lies. They will deny that their policies could increase the illicit tobacco market. They will claim the magazine cover is somehow in violation of the FCTC. They will complain to the magazine publisher. They will cry and moan and say how unfair it is. The usual tobacco control lackeys (aka health columnists) working in the press will run the story (and if we're really lucky we'll see a rerun of the Big Tobacco intimidation tactics story and that this cover is evidence of Big T's intimidation of politicians).  It will all be tweeted on Twitter as further evidence that we need plain packs mostly by CRUK's volunteer ambassador morons wearing paper bags.

Or maybe not. I could be wrong. Perhaps I am this time. I can live with that.