Tobacco shoots itself in the foot

I find Philip Circus’s comments (Letters, MW January 10) distastefully similar to the selective examples of “truth” offered by the American pro-gun lobby.

If Ecstasy use increased following the publicity surrounding Leah Betts’ death, isn’t it most likely that this was a result of market forces (ie a lot more of the stuff available on the streets) than a perverse anti-marketing reaction from young people?

The kind of arguments that Mr Circus and other pro-tobacco lobbyists employ are primarily an attempt to preserve the income that is derived from this industry for agencies and media owners. The wider public interest is somewhat lower down their agenda.

To suggest that actively promoting tobacco products is “a help not a hindrance for achieving the Government’s health objectives” sounds, frankly, like the last plea of a desperate man. Whatever the statistical “evidence” points to (and we all know how selectively the tobacco industry has employed data over the past 50 years) any sensible marketing person will know that the last thing any of these major multi-nationals will do is throw millions of pounds behind campaigns designed to actually reduce their sales.

Chris Blythe



West Yorkshire

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