Saturday, May 27, 2006

Cigarette Labelling

PS. OK I got it a bit wring because Simon Clarke was interviewed at 11.25 and did a great job. I don't know if his invitation was at his request though.

Dear All

Today on BBC News 24 at 10.30am the presenter interviewed an ASH spokesperson (Amanda Sandford) as part of a news item reporting plans for pathological images to be displayed on cigarette packets next year.
Amongst other bigotry this spokesperson said " tobacco was unique in that it killed 1 in 2 of its users". The presenter made no challenge to this assertion and no representative from smokers, the tobacco industry or Forest was interviewed.

There is a website article on the BBC site

I have emailed the BBC's Newswatch program. I copy my rant below and provide the url for their web email form for you all to express your views.

"Dear Sir

You just interviewed an ASH spokesperson who answered a question relating to why cigarettes deserved different treatment to other legal harmful substances. The ASH woman said tobacco was a unique product because it "killed 1 in 2 of its users". This is an absolute lie and your interviewer made no comment or probing of this absurd statement.
Where was the spokesperson for the tobacco industry or for smokers or for Forest?

This kind of bias in reporting civil liberty issues is quite astounding and means that the BBC is run by anti-smokers. It is not appropriate for the BBC to demonstrate any bias. The irresponsible group ASH and its lies should be grilled alongside the deceitful charities the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK as to why they find it necessary to peddle complete fabrications about the risk of tobacco.

The inclusion of any health warning notice or now picture on any product should be universal or not at all. Cigarettes are enjoyed by many and marketed by a business. Why are these two groups rights completely ignored in the current mood of smoker persecution.

It is high time this issue was treated in a fair way with discussion and interviews presented in a balanced way. I am a doctor who enjoys smoking. I am aware of the real risks and fed up with being targeted by evil prejudice and propaganda. I have no intention of stopping smoking, however difficult the WHO and ASH think they can make it for me. I also know for sure that I am doing NO harm to anyone else at all despite the biased media presentation of the information available on so-called "passive smoking"."

Dr Phil Button
Associate Specialist in Anaesthesia & Pain Relief