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July, 2013:

operate in the park

East London and West Essex Guardian Series

Patients face £75 fines in hospital blitz on smoking

You +1’d this publicly. Undo

Evening Standard3 hours ago

Patients caught smoking at Britain’s biggest hospital group risk £75 fines and being discharged from care under a radical bid to improve health

WHO stronger action is needed to effectively tackle the tobacco epidemic in many countries. This is true of China. INCLUDING HONG KONG

WHO Representative Office in China

Stronger bans on tobacco marketing needed to save lives – new WHO report on the tobacco epidemic

Beijing, 15 July 2013 – The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2013 released last week highlights the need for stronger tobacco control policies including strengthened bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship to reduce tobacco use and save lives, including in China.

“This new WHO report highlights progress that is being made globally to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco consumption. Around the world, the population covered by at least one key tobacco control measure doubled from 1 billion to 2.3 billion in the last five years,” said Dr Michael O’Leary, WHO Representative in China.

“However, the report also shows that stronger action is needed to effectively tackle the tobacco epidemic in many countries. This is true of China.

“This is especially the case if China is to achieve the targets it has set for itself to reduce rates of tobacco smoking, from the current level of 28.1% to below 25% by 2015,” Dr O’Leary said.

The specific focus of this year’s report is bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are one of the most powerful measures available to governments to reduce tobacco use.

Globally, there has been a steady increase in the number of countries that have established bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, but only 24 countries – covering 10% of the world’s population – have a complete ban in place.

China is among a group of 103 countries which are close to having a complete ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, but where existing laws require strengthening in order to ban all forms of tobacco marketing and be considered by WHO as having the highest level of implementation.

The Advertising Law in China currently bans advertising of tobacco products in the mass media (including radio, movies, TV, newspapers and magazines), but outdoor advertising, point of sale promotions, internet advertising, and tobacco sponsorship of events are allowed. ‘New media’ including micro-blogs are also beyond the scope of the existing Advertising Law.

“This new report highlights the urgency of strengthening bans on tobacco marketing in China “Dr O’Leary said.

“Around the world, the tobacco industry spares no expense on marketing its products. Experience from other countries is that the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics target young people, who are especially vulnerable to tobacco advertising and promotions.”

“We must act now to protect the current generation of Chinese young people from the hazards of tobacco use. “

“There is also an urgent need to protect Chinese women and girls – among whom the current rate of tobacco smoking is very low – from tobacco company marketing tactics, before they are lured into a lifetime of tobacco addiction.”

While enacting a complete ban on tobacco marketing is one of the most cost-effective tobacco control measures, the new WHO report shows that comprehensive tobacco control policies are required to achieve significant and sustained reductions in tobacco smoking rates.

In 2008, WHO identified six evidence-based tobacco control measures that are the most effective in reducing tobacco use. Known as “MPOWER”, these measures correspond to one or more of the demand reduction provisions included in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC):

  • Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
  • Protect people from tobacco smoke
  • Offer help to quit tobacco use
  • Warn people about the dangers of tobacco
  • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, and
  • Raise taxes on tobacco.

This year’s report is the fourth in the series of WHO reports on the status of the MPOWER measures.

China ratified the WHO FCTC in 2005.

Currently, there are approximately 300 million smokers in China: over one quarter (28%) of the population smokes, including 53% of men and just over 2% of women. More than half (53%) of smokers aged 20-34 years started smoking daily before the age of 20. An estimated 1 million people die each year from tobacco-related illness – almost two Chinese adults die from a tobacco related illness each minute of every hour of every day.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2013 was released in Panama City, Panama on 10 July 2013.

For more information, please contact

Helen Yu
Communications Officer, WHO in China
Tel: +86 10 65327191

Related links

Ramadan Question: Does smoking – if smoke does not enter stomach – break the fast? – Emirates 24/7 Obey the Grand Mufti

Ramadan Question: Does smoking – if smoke does not enter stomach – break the fast? Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai, clarifies doubts and answers questions concerning Ramadan for Emirates 24|7 readers As told to Mohammad El Sadafy

Published Tuesday, July 16, 2013!/image/923956616.JPG

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai Does smoking break the fast? What of the argument that smoke does not enter the abdomen and so is allowed?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“Smoke inhalation – even entering the mouth or nose is invalidating the fast. We have evidence from the Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him). Smoking is a violation of the sanctity of fasting, because it risks entry into the stomach.”

What is the Shariah law for personal grooming  – like cutting one’s nails or getting a hair-cut during fasting?

This has nothing to do with the fast, so it is permissible to cut one’s hair during fasting.
Is there a specific food to be eaten at suhoor? Are some foods not recommended to be eaten?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“A person may eat any food at suhoor unless it is forbidden. Muslim scholars throughout the history have not spoken about certain foods that should be eaten for suhoor, but they have stressed that Muslims can eat anything except what is forbidden. It is preferable to eat dates and milk. The Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) said the best food for suhoor is dates.|

What is the rule for fasting before purification? What if a person is ‘unclean’ from the previous night, but did not wake up to be washed and purified. Can they directly continue fasting?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“Purity (washing) is not a condition for the validity of fasting, but is a condition for prayer and if s/he wakes up and is not clean during the day of Ramadan or any other day, and is fasting, the fast is valid. S/he should wash directly after waking up.

“But one should avoid committing sin, especially not waking up for the Fajr prayer.”

Q) What is the Shariah law as regards physical contact with husband and/or wife during the fasting period of Ramadan?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“Physical contact that causes any kind of arousal during the fasting period of Ramadan should be stopped immediately. There is nothing wrong with physical or verbal contact with a spouse as long as it does not lead to any violation of the rules of fasting.

A Muslim must keep away from desires that may spoil his/her fast.”

Q) What is the ruling of Shariah in case a Muslim has intercourse with his wife during Ramadan?

Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:
“It is forbidden during the day of Ramadan, and penetration will sure break the fast and it is forbidden.

“You must hold on eating and drinking the rest of the day, and the (Kafarah) atonement is the expiation of committing the sin of the intercourse during Ramadan. He should fast for two consecutive months, and if one cannot, then he must feed 60 poor persons.

“The Maalikis have given the choice to the violator: The choice between emancipation and fasting for two consecutive months and feeding is better for him.”

Q) Does sputum break the fast if swallowed?
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael,
Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:

“Most of the scholars said If sputum was swallowed during the fasting deliberately, the fast will be invalid and on the contrary, the Malkai Mathahb do not believe that phlegm invalidates the fast and Muslims should complete their fasting.”

Q) How should Muslims react when they see non-Muslims eat or drink during Ramadan?
Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael,
Grand Mufti, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, Dubai says:“Non-Muslims living in Muslim countries must respect the beliefs of Muslims. “They should respect the feelings of Muslims and shouldn’t eat or drink in front of those who fast. However, patients or those travelling are allowed to eat and drink.

Abu Saeed Al Khudri had heard the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) say, ‘Whoever of you sees an evil must then change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it ] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the slightest [effect of] faith.”

More tax hikes to curb Pacific smoking – New Zealand – News – Islands Business magazine

More tax hikes to curb Pacific smoking



Tue 16 Jul 2013

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand —More Pacific Island countries are making moves to increase taxes on tobacco in a bid to reduce the high incidence of smoking – and related deaths – in the region.

The Pacific Tobacco Taxation Project has been in the works for the past three years, trying to change attitudes in the region, where one-third of the world’s smokers are from.

Smoking is one of the biggest killers in the Pacific.

Up to 75 per cent of the deaths from non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases are related to smoking.

The project – a World Health Organisation initiative – has seen four Pacific countries increasing taxes on cigarettes; with more indicating they will do the same.

Samoa is the latest nation to announce it will raise its tobacco taxes in its 2014-15 Budget.

It follows moves by the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga to bump tobacco taxes by up to 15 per cent.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), based in New Caledonia, has also been heavily involved in helping Pasifika countries to kick the habit.

The group’s tobacco and alcohol adviser, Jeanie McKenzie, said changing attitudes had been difficult given the “normality of smoking” in the region.

“It’s impossible to say why smoking is so popular in the Pacific, but [tobacco] is fairly affordable.

“In some countries, there are more women that smoke than men.”

The SPC is working with 22 countries or states in the Pacific.

McKenzie said one of the key factors for so many people in the Pacific smoking was that tobacco was so cheap.

Cigarettes can be bought cheaply – a packet of 20 costs about nine tala (NZ$4.83) in Samoa.

Increasing taxes would not stop everyone from lighting up, but it was a step towards change, she said.

“From a health point of view, if we want people to stop smoking, we’ve got to put the tobacco tax up – we want to hit them big.”

Smoking among Pacific Islanders in New Zealand is just as high, with one in four Pasifika taking up the habit.

Tala Pasifika – the national Pacific tobacco control service – was established by the Heart Foundation in 2009 to enhance Pacific leadership on tobacco issues.

Programme manager Stephanie Erick said they had worked with community and church groups to change attitudes towards smok-ing.

“One issue that we’ve talked about is people buying cartons of cigarettes in Duty Free and taking them back to the islands when they visit.

“It’s a cultural thing. They know lots of people smoke and so cigarettes are such an easy gift – they just open up the carton and pass them around.”

Smoking bans, taxes can save 9 million Indians

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Indian Express

Smoking bans, taxes can save 9 million Indians

PTI Posted online: Thu Jul 11 2013, 14:25 hrs

Washington : India could prevent over nine million deaths due to cardiovascular disease over the next decade if it implements smoking bans and levy higher tobacco taxes, a new study has found.

Smoke-free laws and increased tobacco taxes would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths, researchers said. “Smoke-free legislation has not been consistently implemented, one in three adults reported being exposed to smoking at work in 2009 and 2010, varying from 15.4 per cent in Chandigarh to 67.9 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir,” according to the study published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

“Tobacco cessation programmes have received limited government financial support, and cessation advice by health care professionals is provided infrequently. Tobacco taxation remains very low, at around 38 per cent of cigarette and 9 per cent of bidi prices, far below the minimum of 70 per cent the WHO recommends,” the research said.

The results of this study, led by Sanjay Basu and colleagues of Stanford University, US, suggest that specific tobacco control strategies would be more effective than others for the reduction of CVD deaths over the next decade in India and possibly in other low- and middle-income countries.

The authors investigated which tobacco control measures could best reduce the burden of CVD effectively in low- and middle-income countries by using a mathematical model.

Their microsimulation model estimated the effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on deaths from heart attack and stroke in India between 2013 and 2022.

Five different tobacco control measures were compared in the model: smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans.

In addition, other factors such as increased access to aspirin, antihypertensive drugs, and statins were simulated for their effect on deaths from heart attack and stroke.

The authors conclude that, based on their model, smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are expected to be the most effective strategies for reducing heart attack and stroke deaths over the next decade.

These two measures alone could prevent about 9 million deaths from heart attack and stroke in India by 2022, and a combination of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions could prevent even more deaths, researchers said.

“One of the advantages of using large-scale surveys to inform these models is that we can account for unique populations who have different risk factors from places like the United States and the United Kingdom,” said Basu.

“For example, many Indians smoke informal cigarettes called ‘bidis‘ which are highly risky to health but are often missed by standard models focusing only on manufactured cigarettes,” said Basu.

WHO REPORT On THE glObal TObaCCO EPidEmiC, 2013

Download PDF : en_summary
WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2013

Higher tax halves cigarette imports | Macau Business Daily

Higher tax halves cigarette imports

Stephanie Lai | 09/07/2013 | in Business

A Legislative Assembly member says the tax is still not high enough

Tobacco imports have tumbled since the tax on tobacco was increased in 2011, the Financial Services Bureau has said.

“After the imposition of the adjusted tobacco tax in late 2011, 705 million cigarettes were imported into Macau in 2012,” Financial Services Bureau director Vitória da Conceição said in reply to a written inquiry by Legislative Assembly member Ng Kuok Cheong.

“The figure was almost half the amount imported in 2011, when 1.37 billion cigarettes were imported into Macau,” Ms Conceição said.

“The amount of cigars imported into Macau in 2012 was 18,000 kg, a drastic drop from the 61,000 kg imported in 2011.”

From 1986 to May 2009, the tobacco tax was just 5 avos (0.6 U.S. cent) per cigarette, or about 6 percent of the retail price at the time, Health Bureau data show. The tax was then raised to 20 avos. Since December 2011 it has been 50 avos.

In his inquiry, Mr Ng said the tax rate was still too low.

“Macau’s tobacco tax level is still lagging far behind Hong Kong’s,” he said.

In Hong Kong the tobacco tax is HK$1.70 per cigarette.

“Macau’s tax rate is not even 30 percent of Hong Kong’s,” Mr Ng said.

The World Health Organisation recommends that tax should account for at least two-thirds of the retail price of tobacco products.

In Macau, tax accounts for 40 percent of the retail price.

Ms Conceição did not say when the tobacco tax might be raised.

“Macau Economic Services will keep a close watch on imports and sales of tobacco,” she said.

“They will also continue the dialogue on the tax rate issue with the Health Bureau,” she said.

“We will review when and by how much the tobacco tax should be raised in order to help curb smoking.”

Tobacco wholesalers and retailers told Business Daily in February that the tax increase had made smokers turn to cheaper cigarettes sold on the black market in mainland China.

Macau Customs seized more than 810,000 cigarettes that people were trying to smuggle in through the border crossings last year. They seized 440,000 in 2011.

In May customs seized the largest amount of smuggled tobacco they had found since the handover.

They found over 4,300 kilograms of shredded tobacco worth over 3 million patacas in a container of food aboard a boat.

The government estimated that this was enough to make 4.9 million cigarettes, which could have brought in tax revenue of 2.4 million patacas

Panama’s ban on tobacco advertising protects people’s health

Panama’s ban on tobacco advertising protects people’s health

July 2013

Panama has successfully banned all advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and plans to introduce plain packaging of all tobacco products and ban tobacco smoking from open spaces.

“Few years ago, I smoked two packs of cigarettes per day,” recalls 67-year old Alonso Hurley, an engineer and university professor from Panama City, the capital of Panama. “Tobacco was part of my life and there was no way to avoid tobacco because I was confronted with cigarette commercials everywhere: on TV, at roadsides, and in magazines.”

“We had to take action to stop this epidemic and protect the health of our people.”

Dr Javier Diaz, Minister of Health of Panama

Panama: complete ban on tobacco advertising

Meanwhile things have changed. Alonso stopped smoking and the tobacco commercials have vanished from Panama’s landscape. In 2008, Panama became the first country in the Americas to enact a complete ban on all advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products or TAPS. According to estimates TAPS bans can decrease tobacco consumption by 7 to 16%. The Panamanian law does not only prohibit national media and billboard advertisement but also commercials in international media originating outside the country, the distribution of products with tobacco brand logos, sponsorship of sports teams, promotional price discounting or product placement in television and motion pictures. The ground-breaking legislation also restricts advertising and marketing at the point of tobacco sale, an element often not included in bans adopted by other countries.

“In 2000, 16% of the population of Panama used tobacco and we had 2000 tobacco-related deaths each year,” says Dr Javier Diaz, Minister of Health of Panama. “We had to take action to stop this epidemic and protect the health of our people.”

Ministerio de Salud and Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas (MINSA – ICGES), Panama

Collecting data electronically for the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in Panama

Panama was one of the first countries that ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), which entered into force in 2005. The TAPS ban was another important step in the country’s efforts to further strengthen tobacco control. In addition, the Government completely banned smoking in all public places, carried out a successful countrywide anti-tobacco mass media campaign and started to offer smoking cessation services. The funds raised by tobacco taxes are in part used to strengthen tobacco control. All these efforts together yielded impressive results.

Significant drop in tobacco consumption expected

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey carried out in Panama in 2008 with support of WHO and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number of cigarette smoking students aged 13-15 in Panama dropped from 13.2% to 4.3% since 2002.

Early in 2013, Panama conducted its first Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS). The results are not yet available, but Panama expects another significant drop in the tobacco consumption.

The levels of compliance with the TAPS ban in Panama are extremely high, ranking 95 out of a possible 100 points in a recent survey. However, the tobacco industry does not remain idle and is fiercely opposing any strengthening of tobacco control measures.

“Two tobacco companies filed a lawsuit against Panama because of the restriction of the exhibition of tobacco products at the point of sale,” reports Dr Nelyda Gligo, the President of the Panamanian Coalition Against Tobacco (COPACET). “But the population of Panama is supporting strong tobacco control and we cannot yield to intimidation and threats of the tobacco industry.”

In a recent opinion poll, 75% of the population approved a boost of the price of cigarillos that could soon cost 12 US$ each. And the industry is bracing for the next big blow as Panama plans to introduce plain packaging of all tobacco products and ban tobacco smoking from open space such as restaurant terraces.

Since Alonso quit smoking he feels much healthier and is even helping other people to stop using tobacco. “From time to time I am invited to talk about my experiences and I am happy that my example is encouraging others to lead healthier lives.”

Money before ethics ……………………….

23 May 2013

More updates on The Common Sense Alliance – involvement of Ogilvy & Mather:

· A profile on Rory Sutherland, the executive creative director of OgilvyOne London and the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather UK. Since August 2012, he is also the director of The Common Sense Alliance, listed as one of the founding members of this lobby group supported by British American Tobacco (BAT).

· Advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather has a well documented history of working with Big Tobacco: PR for the Tobacco Institute, a front group of the industry, and Influencing Science by creating doubt about second hand smoke in the 1980s. Today BAT is still one of their largest clients.

The Common Sense Alliance

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Screengrab of the Common Sense Alliance ‘Issues’ webpage (March 2013)

The Common Sense Alliance is a group that describes itself as a “growing community who question excessive regulation that lacks evidence and has not been fully thought through…” On their website homepage they claim that they are not a political group. Nevertheless their main activities show that they act as a lobby group. The Alliance asks readers to support common sense and sign up against:

· standardised packaging for tobacco,

· the late night levy on businesses selling alcohol between 12am and 6am,

· taxes on fatty foods and nutrition labelling.

They also urge supporters to contact their local MPs with these views and provide a link to the ‘Write to them’ webpage. Their tagline is “Common Sense, not Nonsense”.

The Common Sense Alliance was founded in August 2012, at the time the European Union was discussion the Tobacco Products Directive and the UK was preparing for the consultation on Plain Packaging.

The Common Sense Alliance has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.



Supported by British American Tobacco

The Common Sense Alliance is provided with ‘support’ from British American Tobacco (BAT). The tobacco company is one of the five main supporters of the Alliance listed on the Alliance’s homepage. It is unknown whether this ‘support’ is financial.

The website domain was registered by Basil Dutchak, who worked for Rothman’s tobacco company for 30 years and BAT for a further year before founding his own business B&K Associates Ltd in 2003. On his LinkedIn profile, Dutchak states that B&K Associates consists of “a team of sales experts who have been trained to the highest standard, primarily in the tobacco industry, who can deliver sales objectives particularly where new brands require additional support in early development.”[1] Dutchak retained a working relationship with BAT. Speaking of Dutchak in 2010, BAT National Sales Manager Andy de Caso said:

Basil has a unique and affective style in developing/delivering both coaching and training modules. As importantly the delivery of his courses are tailored to the clients’ requirements. He keeps abreast of real trends within the market place that influence consumers’ decisions and utilises these when training and coaching. B&K have played a key role in the development of first line managers and coaches and both performance and people measures have been improved (significantly in some areas) as a result of his involvement with my company.[2]

In addition to BAT, The Common Sense Alliance is also supported by:

· Great Heck Brewing Co LTd – an independent alcohol brewing company,

· Flaming Frog Design – a web design company that designed the webpage for the tobacco industry front group, the Tobacco Retailers Alliance. Furthermore, one of Flaming Frog’s partners, Madz Widen also known as Meg, previously worked as a Financial Executive of BAT in Sweden.[3]

· MSR Newsgroup Ltd – a Nottingham newsagent chain, and

· the Live Management Group (LMG) who organise live music events and festivals. The LMG are partnered with a company called MAMA Brand Partnerships that specialise in branding live music events, venues and festivals; most often alcohol branding. Rizla, an Imperial Tobacco owned cigarette rolling paper is one of the many brands that MAMA Brand Partnerships has promoted at live music events.

Against Plain Packaging

The Common Sense Alliance is against the plain packaging of tobacco products, they argue that:

· It will increase illicit trade as packets are less easily identified as genuine or illicit

· The economy will suffer from revenue lost to illegal tobacco product sales

· Once there is plain packaging for tobacco where will the government go next (slippery slope argument)

· Excessive regulation should be replaced with education for young people

Founding Members

The Common Sense Alliance website (Under the header ‘Supporters’) lists its founding members along with their credentials.

· Peter Sheridan – Former Assistant Chief Constable and Head of Organised Crime and Murder Investigation

· Roy Ramm – Former Commander of Specialist Operations at New Scotland Yard

· Rory Sutherland – Former President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising

· Mick Garton – Managing Director of MSR News Group

· Kami Kundi – Justice of the Peace, Regional Director of the National Asian Business Association

· Dr Jules Goddard – Research Fellow at London Business School

· Nash Gooderham – Chief Executive Officer of Live Management Group

· Madz/Meg Wilden – Owner of Flaming Frog Design

· Denzil Vallance – Great Heck Brewery Limited

· Paul Jones – LS West Midlands

· Shaun Simmons – G Simmons & Sons

Two of the founding members are ex-cops with an impressive career in policing. As detailed at their own pages, both Peter Sheridan and Roy Ramm are experienced witness experts. They have both appeared before a Select Committee in Parliament to discuss the issue of tobacco smuggling in their police capacity. Both are now using the smuggling argument and the alleged risk of an increase in their lobby against plain packaging, in articles in the media and in Parliament – as is detailed below. Both use their credentials as former police officers to make their point, while failing to mention their involvement in the Common Sense Alliance and their links to the tobacco industry.

Sutherland is described by The Common Sense Alliance as the Former President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The Alliance’s website does not mention that he is the current Vice Chairman of The Ogilvy Group UK. The Group is part of Ogilvy & Mather, a global advertising and public relations company which has British American Tobacco as one of its largest clients worldwide. The fact that BAT is a client is not easy to find at the websites of Ogilvy & Mather or the Ogilvy Group, but on LinkedIn people specify their job with the Ogilvy Group UK as working specifically on the BAT account.[4]

Furthermore, Ogilvy has a long history of working with the Tobacco Industry, for more information see the Ogilvy Group page.

Rory Sutherland is a self-proclaimed libertarian and a fan of smoking, standing up for ‘the right to light up’. He also is a proponent of branding and as such opposed to plain packaging; more detail at the Sutherland page.

Industry Responses to the UK Plain Packaging Consultation 2012

Two of the founding members of the Alliance, Peter Sheridan and Roy Ramm, are cited as expert witnesses by tobacco companies in their submissions to the UK Consultation on Standardised Packaging (Sheridan by BAT and Ramm by PMI).

Furthermore, the plain packaging views of both Ramm and Sheridan have been quoted by the media,[5] by anti-plain packaging campaigns such as Hands Off Our Packs[6] and in personally penned pieces in both the Huffington Post and The Daily Mail :

· Sheridan guest column piece for the Daily Mail, 22 June 2012

· Ramm in the Huffington Post: Government plans for plain packaging will boost illicit trade

· Sheridan in the Huffington Post:Plain Packaging Will Create a Fertile Ground for Tobacco Smuggling

, 3 December 2012

On 9th August 2012, Peter Sheridan was listed as the Director of the BAT supported Common Sense Alliance. However in publications regarding plain packaging only his credentials as former police officer are mentioned.

‘Evidence’ presented to the House of Lords – No Mention of the Alliance

Roy Ramm letter discussed in the House of Lords, 13 March 2013

On 13th March 2013, Anna Soubry, Public Health Secretary, and Andrew Black, Tobacco Programme Manager at the Department of Health were asked to attend an inquiry on the European Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) held by the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Home Affairs, Health and Education.

The sub-committee are “responsible for scrutinising health legislation”.[7]

The Lords in attendance were Lord Hannay of Chiswick (Chairman), Lord Avebury, Lord Blencathra, Viscount Bridgeman, Lord Richard and Lord Sharkey.[7]

During the session, Lord Blencathra refers to evidence provided in a letter by Roy Ramm (joint authored with Peter Sheridan), “who is former commander of Scotland Yard’s SOCA”. Lord Blencathra describes that the evidence that they have received from Ramm suggests that plain packaging would:

· “…give a huge boost to the counterfeit trade and that a lot of that money would go into criminal organisations, including some terrorist organisations.”

· “…give a huge boost to the counterfeit trade across Europe..” as “any kid could reproduce plain packaging on his laptop computer and a cheap printer.”

And that:

· “The tobacco manufacturers and the companies state that he best way…to prevent counterfeiting is to constantly change sophisticated packaging…”

Asked whether she accepted any of these arguments, Public Health Secretary Soubry, stated “I am afraid that I do not.” Soubry goes on to explain to the sub-committee why this is the case. (See image for an extract of the transcript.)

Later in the hearing, Viscount Bridgeman asked some questions on illicit trade based on a meeting he had with Peter Sheridan. Viscount Bridgeman asked whether counterfeit packaging would be harder to detect. Soubry responded that the term ‘plain packaging’ was misleading and that ‘standardised packaging’ would still include sophisticated security holograms.

The Lords asked that the Minister respond to the letter by Ramm and Sheridan, addressing the points made and sending a copy of any response to the Sub-Committee. Despite the high level of influence both Ramm and Sheridan achieved in this hearing, there is no mention of eithers involvement with The Common Sense Alliance. The letter in question, received upon request from the Sub-Committee was written in February 2013 by Ramm and Sheridan. It states that plain packaging would increase illicit trade and fund terrorist organisations. Once again their relationship with The Common Sense Alliance, and therefore BAT, was not disclosed.

Ramm and Sheridan letter discussed in the House of Lords, 13 March 2013

“Plain Packaging Lobbyists Under Fire Over Links to Tobacco Company”

The Common Sense Alliance was the subject of a national press story in the Observer on Sunday on the 28th April 2013: “Former police officers who gave evidence to Lords on upcoming legislation worked for Common Sense Alliance, funded by BAT”[8]


  1. Basil Dutchak, Basil Dutchak, Owner B&K Associates, LinkedIn, accessed April 2013
  2. Andy de Caso, Andy de Caso, Sales Director at SKYCIG UK, LinkedIn, accessed April 2013
  3. Madz Widen, Madz Widen, LinkedIn, accessed April 2013
  4. See for instance: LinkedIn, David Fox, accessed April 2013
  5. Steven Alexander, Plain pack cigarettes a ‘smuggler’s charter’, Belfast Telegraph, 26 September 2012, accessed April 2013
  6. Angela Harbutt, Anti-tobacco activists protest too much, Hands Off Our Packs Campaign Blog, 2 October 2012, accessed April 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 House of Lords, Unrevised transcript of evidence taken before The Select Committee on the European Union Home Affairs, Health and Education Committee, Inquiry on Tobacco Products Directive, 13 March 2013, accessed April 2013
  8. Plain Packaging Lobbyists Under Fire Over Links to Tobacco Company, the Guardian, 28 April 2013, accessed May 2013

Gudang Garam and sports endorsement

Gudang Garam and sports endorsement

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Screengrab taken from

Gudang Garam International is an Indonesian cigarette company selling kretek (clove flavoured) cigarettes of the same name. According to Euromonitor International, in 2010 Gudang Garam International held the top market share in Indonesia.[1]

The tobacco company’s website (accessed from the UK) includes the brand logo and name, yet the website focuses on Premier League football. Gudang Garam owns and actively promotes the internet-based sports channel dedicated to football, a sport which is very popular with the young, which is a concern in a country where child smoking has reached epidemic levels.[2]



The Premier League

Screengrab taken from

The Premier League is the organising body responsible for Britain’s top football division. Despite its copyright and image rights being tightly controlled,[3] in Indonesia the Premier League is promoted by Gudang Garam International, via its sports channel InterSport.[4]

Given how tightly controlled the rights are, it might come as a surprise to some that the Premier League does not have a non-tobacco promotion clause in its overseas contracts.

The Premier League has defended itself stating that it has no direct contract with the tobacco company, but it did acknowledge that its partner in Indonesia does sublicense to Gudang Garam. “Our live rights partner sublicences some Premier League matches to a channel that does [InterSport],” a spokesperson for the Premier League Nick Noble has said.

When asked what would done to break the arrangement in Indonesia, the Premier League did not answer, beyond saying the arrangement lasts from 2010-2013.[5]

The Premier League’s logo also appears in an InterSport YouTube video featuring shots of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City matches.[6]

Rio Ferdinand

In June 2012, the Guardian newspaper reported on the celebrity endorsement of Gudang Garam’s InterSport internet channel by Manchester United and England football star Rio Ferdinand.[7]

Screengrab taken from

Deborah Arnott of Action for Smoking and Health said that sponsorship deals with tobacco companies were banned in the UK because of concerns that they promoted cigarettes to young people and was quoted by the paper saying

Well over a third of 15-year-old boys in Indonesia smoke and smoking rates among the young have increased sixfold since 1995. Rio is estimated to be worth £40m and to earn more than £100,000 a week; does he really need to do this? I hope now he realises what he’s done, he’ll apologise.

Ferdinand wears the InterSport branding in YouTube and billboard ads for the sports channel, but it is not clear whether he knew that the brand was actually a cigarette brand. Indeed, according to the Guardian, Ferdinand is a “fervent anti-smoker”, who was adamant that he “was not advertising tobacco but the sports channel”.

The National Commission for Child Protection in Indonesia urged Manchester United to act immediately to remove the promotion, since Rio Ferdinand is a major role model for children and adolescents in Indonesia and around the world, said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of The National Commission for Child Protection in Indonesia.[7]

According to the Guardian article, a spokeswoman for United said:

The contractual agreement between Rio and Gudang Garam InterSports runs to 31 October 2012, at which time all forms of advertising will cease. Both Manchester United and Rio Ferdinand are sorry for this misunderstanding and will endeavour to ensure that it is not repeated in the future.

Despite these assurances, as of June 2013, Ferdinand’s image was still being widely used by the company, including as a backdrop to the company’s Twitter feed and on the front of its Facebook page.[8]

Fernando Torres

Screengrab taken from

Ferdinand is not the only Premier League star to promote InterSport. Fernando Torres, the world famous Chelsea player, also appeared in an advert for the company which was posted on YouTube in 2010 and in June 2013 his image appears as a backdrop to the company’s Twitter feed, along with Ferdinand.[9]

It is unknown whether Torres knows that InterSport is connected to an Indonesian tobacco company, whether he has held or continues to hold a contract with the company.

Other Football Stars

The images of other football stars also appear on InterSport’s website. Again, it is unknown whether they have contracts with the company.


  1. Euromonitor International, Country Report: Tobacco in Indonesia, 2011, accessed July 2012
  2. Jonathan Miller, Indonesia’s Tobacco Children, 9 November 2012, accessed June 2013
  3. The Premier League, Copyright Information, accessed June 2013
  4. Gudang Garam International, InterSport Website, accessed June 2013
  5. Nick Noble, Personal Email to TobaccoTactics, 2 November 2012
  6. YouTube, Gudang Garam Inter Sport Barclays Premier League Footage, posted 29 January 2011, accessed June 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jamie Doward and Tegan Rogers, Rio Ferdinand criticised over advert linked to Asian tobacco firm, The Guardian, 16 June 2012, accessed July 2012
  8. Twitter, @ggintersport, accessed June 2013
  9. YouTube, InterSport’s Video posted 18 May 2010, accessed June 2013

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