Tobacco industry advice goes up in smoke

Fag money

Here in the Woodland we don’t like saying “We told you so”.

However, in the case of tobacco industry lobbying masquerading as “evidence”, we can make an exception.

In which case,

We told you so.

On the day the Department of Health’s review concluded it is:

Highly likely that standardised packaging would serve to reduce the rate of children taking up smoking and implausible that it would increase the consumption of tobacco.

the Mental Elf team of Olivia Maynard and Marcus Munafò have delivered a devastating analysis of the “evidence” submitted by the tobacco industry to the English Government’s consultation on plain packaging.

Some brave souls from Bath University waded through these submissions.  Their evidence was found to be largely irrelevant to the issue of plain packaging, mostly funded by the industry itself and of low methodological quality.

Fortunately, there were no flies on the DH.  In response, the English Public Health Minister Jane Ellison announced today that the government would press ahead with plans to introduce plain packaging.

There was a predictable wheezing from the back benches about freedom and the “nanny state”.  Therefore nothing should be taken for granted.

Today’s Mental Elf blog shows clear evidence that the tobacco industry will happily use loopholes in the regulatory framework to delay legislation.  Actions will speak louder than words on plain packaging.

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Douglas Badenoch

Douglas Badenoch
I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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