SmokeFree South West do us for another £135,000

As was reported in the last week that six National Health Service (NHS) trust hospitals are on the verge of bankruptcy, they do seem still to have plenty of cash to spend on the tobacco control industry.

The University of Bath Tobacco Research Group headed up by Professor Anna Gilmore, manages the http://www.tobaccotactics.org/index.php/Main_Page and in their own words:

“TobaccoTactics (TT) is a project of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the Department for Health at the University of Bath and is overseen by two managing editors, Eveline Lubbers and Andrew Rowell.”

Never mind the site is hosted by a Dutch private detective agency Buro Jansen & Janssen. The Editor of TT Ms Eveline Lubbers is the Principal.  TT also have this disclaimer:

Disclaimer. Some of the research for TobaccoTactics was funded by Cancer Research UK Limited and Smokefree South West. These funders have had no input into the research reported on this website or its conclusions. They are not responsible for the content or the publication, nor do they necessarily endorse it. Published by the University of Bath. Read the General Disclaimer.”

So who funds SmokeFree South West (SFSW)  and how much have they committed to the project? SFSW are funded by the NHS and by definition the taxpayer. So how much are we paying towards it? A couple of weeks ago I put in a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) and have received a reply.

“SmokeFree South West paid a total of £135,000 to the University of Bath over two years for a variety of different tobacco control research related projects. There will be no future funding for this. SmokeFree South West has not funded a specific amount to this website nor will we fund a specific amount in the future. We are not responsible for the content or the publication of the website, nor do we necessarily endorse it.”

Professor Gilmore’s profile page on the University of Bath includes an admission she is receives funding from SFSW, she also gets the same from Cancer Research UK too.

In my opinion there are some serious questions to be asked by the taxpayer on where their hard earned cash goes.  TT is to be fair a reasonably accurate website and the information by and large correct. However there an antidote to it Tobacco Control Tactics which you will no doubt pleased does not receive a penny from the taxpayer and also tobacco companies. It is a grass root smokers who are fed up of the tobacco control industry.

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7 Responses to SmokeFree South West do us for another £135,000

  1. Junican says:

    Hard though it may seem, it ought to be possible to receive funding from Tobacco Companies. Given that SS.ASH ET AL can receive funds from anywhere at all, I see no reaon that any smoker group should not be funded by Tobacco Companies, provided that such support is revealed. Remember that, in the McTear Case, Judge Lord Nimmo Smith said that funding is irrelevant – only ‘truth’ is relevant.

    • Rose says:

      Here’s why.

      Smearing the Opposition

      “If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group.

      Consequently, the a chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles.”
      http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2007/04/in-my-view-brainwashing-in-anti-smoking.html

      • Junican says:

        What I have in mind, Rose is the funding of some genuine study. We all know that Tobacco Control will not fund studies (in which case the study will not get done) unless they know in advance what the result is going to be. Who else but tobacco companies have the wealth to fund such as study? We know that SS.ASH would cry foul and cast aspertions, but such attacks could be countered by FULL REVELATION of every detail of the study. For example, if it was an epidemiological study, copies of the completed questionnaires could be published, in full, on-line. Funds received could be fully accounted for by the researchers, in detail (eg. travel expensed, salaries, etc). If ASH continue to whinge and shout insults, then they could be challenged to reveal full details of THEIR studies.

        Just a thought…………

      • Rose says:

        The trouble with you, Junican, is that you are still thinking like an honest and trustworthy person, whatever you do for whatever reason and how ever genuine, will be portrayed in the worst light and used to discredit you by the unscrupulous just by mere association.

        Here’s the headline that will have stuck in the public memory last time there was a consultation, fully in line with the constant “the Evil Tobacco Companies are out to get poor, helpful us” theme.

        MPs fall foul of ‘dirty’ tricks by tobacco giants
        14 December 2008

        “Britain’s tobacco giants have been accused of ‘dirty’ tactics after it emerged they created a supposedly ‘independent’ campaign group for small retailers to lobby against government restrictions on the promotion of cigarettes in shops.

        The Save Our Shop campaign claimed proposals to remove large displays of cigarettes in stores would result in costly refits and see many small retailers go out of business.

        Over the summer, MPs were inundated with postcards bearing the Save Our Shop campaign logo, urging them not to back the government’s proposals, outlined last week by the Department of Health. The cards stated: ‘As my local MP, I hope you will protect our independent local shops by opposing this proposal.’

        More than 100 MPs signed an early-day motion in Parliament agreeing with the proposal that any plan to sell cigarettes under the counter should be firmly ‘evidenced-based’, a key message pushed by the Save Our Shop campaign.

        But it has now emerged many MPs were unaware the campaign was the brainchild of the Tobacco Retailers’ Association (TRA), an offshoot of the Tobacco Manufacturers’ Association, which represents the interests of three tobacco companies: BAT, Gallaher and Imperial Tobacco.

        The Save Our Shop campaign did little to make its links with the tobacco lobby apparent and its postcards bore no reference to the connection between it and the cigarette manufacturers.”
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/dec/14/tobacco-industry-small-retailers

        What really happened

        Tobacco Retailers Concerns ‘Air-Brushed Out’ By Government, UK
        14 Dec 2008

        Members of the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, a coalition of 25,000 independent retailers, have expressed outrage that their views were excluded from a Government report into retail displays of tobacco.

        In a report on the Future of Tobacco Control consultation published on Tuesday 9th December 2008, the Department of Health appears to have deliberately omitted evidence offered by the Tobacco Retailers Alliance.

        Ken Patel, Leicester retailer and National Spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance, said: “First the Minister refused to meet with retailers, now they have censored our formal response to a public consultation.”

        Campaign Manager Katherine Graham said; “We are not listed as one of the respondents although our response was submitted by email and also sent by post, so we can be certain it was received. For some reason the views of 25,000 shopkeepers just seem to have been air-brushed out of the consultation report.”
        http: //www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/132901.php

        Why

        Government ‘fixing health consultations’ with taxpayer-funded groups
        02 Jan 2009

        “Earlier this month the Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, announced that the display of cigarettes and tobacco in shops would be banned in England and Wales from 2011.

        He added that people wanting to buy cigarettes from vending machines would in future have to show proof of age to obtain a token to activate the machine, and machines could be banned altogether in the future.

        Mr Johnson boasted that the display ban was favoured by an “overwhelming majority” of 96,000 responses to a six-month public consultation on the subject.

        Yet only a handful of those 96,000 respondents came from individuals submitting their personal views. Almost 70,000 came from those collected by pressure groups entirely funded by the Department for Health.

        Among the groups submitting block responses were SmokeFree NorthWest, SmokeFree Liverpool and SmokeFree North East, which were all set up by the Government to lobby against the tobacco industry.”
        http: //www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/4076290/Government-fixing-health-consultations-with-taxpayer-funded-groups.html

      • Padraic McGrath says:

        I don’t believe sir that you comments above would be backed up by the group http://www.allencarr.com ?

  2. I wrote to my MP:
    Dear Kris Hopkins,
    Now that the consultation on standardised tobacco packs has finally ended, having been unexpectedly extended by the DoH for reasons which have not been disclosed, perhaps you might be interested to look at the results, and some of the facts surrounding this “consultation”. The body set up to justify larceny of the tobacco companies’ trade marks and brands called itself Smokefree Southwest and was funded either directly by government or the NHS, and indirectly by a collection of fake charities who also receive government funding. This direct attack on the free market was, in effect, funded by the tax-payer. I am surprised that a Tory Government allowed itself to be hoodwinked into an attempt to nationalise an industry so profitable and so disliked by the government. And the results of the “consultation”? 235000 people smokers and non smokers alike wrote to object to the idea. Even with government support and a global appeal for more responses (backed by a child abusive photo of a young girl smoking) the Tobacco Control Industry could not match this. No matter how strongly you might feel about tobacco you surely cannot, in the midst of the worst recession in living memory agree with Andrew Lansley’s idea that the tobacco industry should be closed down. You must be alarmed that once a precedent is set for the theft of branding, even though the now discredited ASH strongly denies this, this communist notion will spread to other products such as alcohol, sugar, soft drinks and maybe even butter. Alcohol campaigners are already talking of this as “the next logical step”. This is madness, and you (I hope) know it.

  3. I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve
    got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot
    of text for only having 1 or two images.

    Maybe you could space it out better?

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