Labour MPs are calling on tobacco companies to fund anti-smoking
advertising as part of a drive by the industry to clean up its
Government sources said ministers would consider the idea as they seek
extra funding for their anti-smoking campaigns. But cigarette companies
are unlikely to be compelled by law to fund educational work.
The proposal is gaining currency among Labour MPs following last month’s
dollars 230 billion agreement in the US, where tobacco companies agreed
to launch anti-smoking programmes and curb advertising as part of a deal
to settle legal claims against them by sick smokers.
Kevin Barron, a Labour backbencher who sought unsuccessfully to ban
tobacco promotion in the last parliament, said: ’It could happen here.
The tobacco industry says it is concerned about teenage smoking. Let us
see how deep that concern is.’
Clive Turner, the executive director of the Tobacco Manufacturers
Association, said: ’We spend pounds 10 million a year on health
warnings, which take up 20 per cent of poster space. Why should we take
over the Government’s job?’
Turner added that the industry has funded efforts to combat teenage
smoking, including a campaign urging retailers not to sell cigarettes to