Tag Archives: tobacco

Too many adverts undermining the climate

It is almost exactly 17 years – though it seems longer – since tobacco advertising and marketing was banned in the UK. It is equally easy to forget that a reluctant Blair government was forced, finally, to act by a private members bill in the Lords by our then health spokesperson Tim Clement-Jones.

It was not right to let the tobacco companies outspend any government health messaging about the dangers of smoking – leading so many young people to an earlier grave.

So what are we to make of advertising now that undermines our expensive efforts to save the climate? Perhaps by advertising SUV cars as if they were good for the environment, when they actually clog the roads and clog the lungs of vulnerable children – making covid worse too?

I believe this might be an opportunity for Lib Dem councillors and campaigners to extend their campaign against cigarette advertising – and clearing their neighbourhoods of unsightly billboards at the same time?

What powers to local authorities have? Well, they certainly have some:

  • Over advertising billboards and screens located on council-owned land.
  • Over planning consent for advertising infrastructure – like the energy-guzzling digital billboards – and some advertising content.
  • Via passenger transport executives (such as Transport for London, Transport for Greater Manchester, Merseytravel, etc) which have control of advertising policies, and which are accountable to local democratic bodies such as Mayor’s offices.

About 1,500 local authorities in 29 countries have now declared a climate emergency. These declarations, taking place at every level of government, are leading to the development of local, regional and national climate emergency action plans.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Stephen Williams writes: Stand up to Big Tobacco and help us win a vote in Parliament

1920s woman in silk kimono smoking using a cigarette holderCalling all Voting Reps – Vote for Emergency Motion 7 on Tobacco Plain Packaging

At this year’s autumn conference in Glasgow Lib Dem voting reps have the chance to change history, to go up against Big Tobacco and their secretive lobbyists, some of them at the heart of the Tory Party, and to help us win a vote in Parliament to protect young people from tobacco advertising. Nearly two thirds of smokers started before they were 18.

Currently tobacco companies can market …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 89 Comments

LibLink: Cllr Alex Folkes takes on the tobacco industry

Alex FolkesOn the Local Government Association blog, Cllr Alex Folkes writes:

At a time when all councils are trying to save money, why should an authority be funding both sides of an expensive battle? That’s the case in Cornwall, and many other councils, in terms of the tobacco industry.

On the one hand, in our public health role, we have a duty to work to cut smoking rates. On the other we have pension funds, which are invested for the benefit of our former and current staff and for which members are trustees

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Stephen Williams MP writes: How to damage tobacco brands

The Australian Senate has just passed landmark legislation in the long fight to prevent young people from starting smoking. From next July, all cigarette packs sold in Australia will look the same: a murky green box with big health warnings and the brand name in a standard font. The tobacco industry desperately fought the plans with millions spent on adverts, dubious research, front groups and legal action. But despite their unprecedented campaign, the idea is widely supported by the public and was passed unanimously in the Australian House of Representatives.

Now it’s our turn. The Coalition Government understands …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 54 Comments
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