Tobacco industry demonizes TC regulation

18 August 2017:

We are increasingly reading headlines of articles by the tobacco industry ridiculing governments’ action in implementing tobacco control legislation. Below are some examples of headlines of various articles published in Tobacco Reporter, an industry magazine, which exaggerates and criticises governments for taking action.

Title of TI’s Article The Ridicule The Facts

Warning on Thailand

17 August 2017

Quoting a UK travel agent: “Thailand is very popular so we should make sure we are telling people about things that could ruin a holiday.”

‘The sale or supply of e-cigarettes and similar devices is also banned and you could face a heavy fine or up to five years imprisonment if found guilty. Several British Nationals have been arrested for possession of vaporisers and e-cigarettes.’

Thai authorities are just implementing the law on e-cigarettes. However the title gives the impression of a travel alert and the article is angled to make law enforcement look out of the ordinary.

Barred from selling tobacco

16 August 2017

“Twelve retailers inSingapore have had their tobacco retail licenses suspended and one has had its license revoked after they were caught selling cigarettes to people under the age of 18, according to a Today story quoting the Health Sciences Authority (HAS).” The headlines makes it sound like no-one can sell tobacco in Singapore. The authorities were just implementing the law.

Running out of steam

15 August 2017

Australia’s anti-smoking campaign is criticised: “The number of smokers in Australia has increased for the first time since anti-smoking campaigns were ramped up a generation ago, casting doubt on the effectiveness of cigarette tax increases, according to a story by Adam Creighton for The Australian.” That, “‘punitive and coercive’ policies to curb smoking had “run out of steam’.” An e-cigarette proponent also pin-pointed Australia’s “hostility to e-cigarettes”.

According to the Heart Foundation WA: “We just need to see through the tobacco industry’s smokescreen.”


There was no scientific merit to either of these claims.

Smoking prevalence in Australia has more than halved in the past 25 years. This is a remarkable achievement in the face of unrelenting opposition from tobacco companies, who now support e-cigarettes under the guise of public health policy.

This is just another dubious attempt of e-cigarette proponents to cast themselves as part of the solution to a problem they created.

Bans seeps into homes

10 August 2017

This headlines gives the impression of a blanket ban on smoking in South Korea.

“Smokers living in South Korea in apartments and other residences with shared amenities will face a crackdown from early next year after the parliament approved a tough anti-smoking bill aimed at fighting second-hand smoke.”

This law applies only to apartment dwelling to prevent smoke drifting into non-smoking units. South Korea is not the only country in the world to have such a law.

Ban shows double standards

7 August 2017

Sri Lanka’s ban on chewing ‘smokeless tobacco’ has come under criticism by people who say that, in not banning smoking, the government is adopting double standards. According to WHO: six percent of school children were chewing commercially-produced areca nut. The countries that exported these products to Sri Lanka had already banned them.

Governments that have been picked on and criticised by the industry are indeed on the right path, doing the right thing for tobacco control.