Murder, she suggested

| November 16, 2017

The idea that tobacco companies could face murder trials should be treated with contempt, according to a story by Rob Lyons on Spiked.

Part of a Sunday Times report of November 12 that was reprinted on the ASH UK (Action on Smoking and Health) website on November 13 quoted the organization’s chief executive Deborah Arnott, as saying that, in the light of the Dutch action, ASH was assessing the feasibility of pressing the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Imperial Brands and Japan Tobacco International, or obtaining permission for a private prosecution.

“The lesson from the Netherlands is that the prospect of criminal charges has had a sensational impact,” Arnott said. “Smokers have been angry to find out low tar cigarettes are no healthier, because smokers inhale more tar and nicotine from low tar cigarettes than the tests show. Sick smokers have come forward in their thousands to take action against the industry.”

According to the ASH rendition of the Times’ story, campaigners in nine countries are working on comparable cases. This followed a meeting of activists in Geneva this summer convened by ASH US.

Lyons dismissed the two main grounds on which such prosecutions would apparently be based: that smokers were misled into believing that low-tar cigarettes were safer than were regular cigarettes, and that many people started smoking when they were children and should have been protected.

Lyons said that anti-smoking campaigners were facing an existential crisis because they had largely won the argument about restricting people’s freedom to smoke; and that’s why they were now coming up with hare-brained strategies.

It was high time that those people who believed in choice fought back, he said.

Lyons piece is at:

The ASH piece is at:

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Category: Breaking News, Litigation, People

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