Judicial review: whinging tobacco King Canutes continue to waste time

Monday 06 July 1998

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Press release6 July 1998  Immediate Release ASH
Action on Smoking
and Health

Judicial review – whinging tobacco King Canutes continue to waste time

A judge has today given the tobacco industry leave for a judicial review of theScientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) while rejecting 3 of the 4 tobaccoindustry grounds for appeal. Clive Bates of ASH said,

“Leave for a judicial review has been granted solely on the grounds of a statement in SCOTH that the tobacco industry needs to recruit more than 300 new smokers a day to replace those who die from smoking related diseases. It’s typical that the tobacco industry should continue to deny the obvious.”

There’s hardly any chance that they will eventually succeed, and ASH expressedincredulity at the industry’s self-importance and its unwillingness to accept what arealmost universally agreed to be the core facts surrounding tobacco and health. The tobaccoindustry continues to deny the most basic facts about smoking, yet it wants full access tothe scientists that are doing their level best to give an authoritative assessment of theevidence on smoking and health.

“Why should anyone be interested in what BAT, Gallahers and Imperial have to say about passive smoking, advertising or anything else, when they still will not admit that smoking causes lung cancer or that nicotine is addictive?” said Clive Bates, Director of ASH.

“They are acting like the King Canutes of the twentieth century, tying to hold back a tide a fact and evidence that will eventually overwhelm their entire operation.”

However, ASH suspects they really intended to intimidate Ministers and civil servants.

“We think they are just trying to bully the Government while it puts together itsWhite Paper on tobacco. That will be out later in the year, but they are trying to throwtheir weight around while it still could make a difference,” said Bates, “theyare just banging their toy truncheons against their shields and hoping that someone willpay attention – sadly, a judge has indulged them.”




Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Phil Rimmer (020) 7739 5902
Pauline Doyle, Press Officer (020) 7739 5902 or 0171 249 2363 (hm)

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