The Framework Convention Alliance for Tobacco Control

ASH report reveals big tobacco's shady dealings

ASH Tobacconomics report imageThe tobacco industry is using pseudo economic arguments to: divert attention away from smoking’s health consequences; block new health regulations; and ultimately protect its revenues, says a new Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) report.

Tobacco companies have a long history of misleading politicians and the public. As understanding developed of the adverse effects smoking has on life expectancy and well-being, industry pro-tobacco arguments diversified.

Now the industry has been forced to concede that smoking kills, efforts are increasingly concentrated on building libertarian and economic arguments against policies to reduce smoking prevalence, as scare tactics to deter policymakers from supporting tobacco control policies.

Industry funded analysts produce unbalanced and misleading reports, these get recycled by lobbyists and front groups and in due course crop up in the speeches of industry friendly politicians. Thus essentially bogus claims become accepted as ‘fact’

– Prof Anna Gilmore from the University of Bath as quoted in ASH’s Tobaconomics report

ASH’s Tobacconomics report reveals how the tobacco industry uses pseudo economic arguments to divert attention away from the health consequences of smoking to block new health regulations and ultimately protect its revenues. As the report shows, this goes as far as repeatedly misleading its own shareholders.

In propagating their economic arguments the tobacco firms have established a disparate and
loose coalition of lobbyists, smaller retailers and businesses.

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