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Imperial criticises DoH report on tobacco

Sat 2nd July, 2011

An academic review of the smoking ban commissioned by the Department of Health (DoH) earlier this year has been criticised as “narrow and selective” by Imperial Tobacco. 

The government published its Tobacco Control Plan for England in March 2011. which set out plans to “support efforts to reduce tobacco use over the next five years”.

Published alongside the plan was a report by Professor Linda Bauld, which was commissioned by the DoH to provide a review of the smokefree legislation implemented in England in 2007.However, a spokesman for Imperial Tobacco claims that

Bauld’s “clear vested interests and links to Government funded anti-tobacco lobby groups call the neutrality of the review into question.”

Imperial Tobacco’s senior UK corporate & legal affairs manager, Colin Wragg, said: “Along with many others directly affected by the legislation, Imperial Tobacco expected that such a review would be founded on substantive and broadly based evidence, ideally obtained from a number of different sources.“

Instead we find Linda Bauld’s review to be narrow and selective, ignoring much of the evidence base and failing to acknowledge anything that does not support her position.”

Wragg expressed concern at Bauld’s conclusions that the smoking ban has had “no clear adverse impact on the hospitality industry”, and that the “legislation has the potential to change social norms around smoking and results in changes in smoking behaviour”.

He added: “Imperial Tobacco has put together a comprehensive critique of Linda Bauld’s report which presents a number of different pieces of evidence from sources in the public domain that Professor Bauld chose not to consider. Had she done so, the conclusions of her review may have been different.”

Source: Morning Advertiser (1 July 2011)

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