Tobacco boss says don’t smoke – ASH comments

Friday 01 March 2002

ASH news release:  Immediate Friday 1st March 2002
In an interview in today’s Times, the Chairman of BAT, Martin Broughton, advises against smoking and says he would be concerned if his kids smoked:

Clive Bates, Director of the anti-tobacco campaigning group ASH, said:

“At home he wants to be the model father and preach healthy living to his kids, but at work the long-term health of his business depends on persuading other people’s children to take up smoking to replace the four million dead smokers that leave the world market each year.  The ability to feel no discomfort in such obscene contradictions is probably a pre-requisite for success as a tobacco industry executive.”

“Can you imagine the Chairman of Ford saying that you really shouldn’t drive one of his cars because it’s dangerous and might kill you?  It just shows what a bizarre business British American Tobacco is in.

“His comments will certainly interest lawyers and victims of smoking world-wide – they will want to know when this conversion occurred and why BAT spent so many years denying and fudging the impact of smoking and creating false controversies.

“Now that he wants to tell people not to smoke, perhaps BAT will back No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13th March – maybe they’d like to advertise the benefits of giving up to their customers instead of advertising the delusion that smoking is chic, cool and sexy.

“Funding a Formula One team and setting up trendy internet sites for clubbers is a funny way of persuading young people not to smoke.  Words and deeds seem to have nothing in common in the surreal world of BAT headquarters.

BAT sells about 800 billion cigarettes world-wide each year – that is likely to lead to about 800,000 premature deaths from smoking through cancer, emphysema, TB and cardiovascular diseases.

Neither the article or the article are available online any more.