April 25, 2000
Tobacco Industry Lobbying for S-15 viewed with alarm
Weeks after Alan Rock announced $480 million new financing for tobacco control, the tobacco companies continue to lobby for the model proposed by Senator Colin Kenny in his bill S-15.
PSC has responded in recent months with letters to the editors of newspapers carrying these advertisements. Neither these letters nor any other criticism of the exploitation of this opportunity for the tobacco companies to return to public debate has been identified.
The companies have also engaged new lobbyists to encourage parliamentarians to support S-15. These lobbyists (from Association House and the Sussex Group) also act on behalf of health organizations - like the Ontario Dental Association and the Hospital for Sick Children.
You can see a sample of the advertisements run by Imperial Tobacco here
April 4, 2001
Those who appreciate the bizarre will have enjoyed seeing the advertisements Imperial Tobacco and JTI-Macdonald are running in support of a Senator Colin Kenny's legislative proposals aimed at establishing a fund to reduce youth smoking. That the tobacco companies exaggerated the number of underage smokers only enhances the irony (they used an outdated figure of 29% instead of the more recent survey results of 26%).
There should be little surprise at the companies' forceful support of this legislation with a renewed public relations campaign and the hiring of several new lobbyists. The principle and spirit of this bill have earned the support and admiration of the health community but the tobacco industry's interests lie, like the devil, in the details. If passed in its current form, the bill would provide several benefits to the industry, including "reasonable limits on regulation of the industry" and access to information "regarding the use of tobacco products by young persons in Canada."
Regrettably, the tobacco companies have been able to exploit Senator Kenny's initiative to refurbish their public image and their relationship with legislators. Newspapers which once refused cigarette advertisements have allowed tobacco companies to return to the fold, as it were.
It's time that the Senate and government stopped playing this game of silly buggers, and joined efforts to properly address the tragedy of tobacco use.
April 4, 2001
Bob Bexon is Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Tobacco, makers of DuMaurier cigarettes, a company that staunchly proclaims its support for reducing underage smoking on page A15 of The Citizen of April 4. Bob Bexon is also a Director of DuMaurier Arts, a company that on page E8 of the same issue of The Citizen wishes to reward smokers over eighteen with the opportunity to win a free trip to New York.
Should we conclude that Mr. Bexon wants his underage customers to hurry up and grow up so that they can win one of his fine trips to New York?
Or should we conclude that Mr. Bexon is talking out of both sides of his mouth and should not be believed in any case?
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Last revised: January 16, 2015
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