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Smoke and Mirrors

The Minister for Health is planning to restrict the advertising of cigarettes.

There are good reasons to think he is not moving fast enough. Read this letter of September last from the Association of Attorney Generals (of the USA) asking the Food and Drug Administration to control the promotion of e-cigarettes.

This is reminiscent of the great tobacco litigation of the USA beautifully represented by the Statement of Claim of the Minnesota Attorney General. See the documents in that case HERE.

The Attorney General stuck Big Tobacco with its own misrepresentations. He pleaded (in the USA they say “pled”; do not do that) that Big Tobacco undertook to research the issue of smoking and health and report all facts to the public. In fact the defendants suppressed research, hid information on the harmful effects of smoking and suppressed the marketing of a “safer cigarette”.

Ultimately, the cases settled in the Master Settlement Agreement.

The bad news is that Big Tobacco survived and is now prospering with the promotion of e-cigarettes.