All those successes, all those flowery reports filled with clever distortions of the truth, yet their latest is anti-smoking 101 - also known as 'what to do when faced with defeat'.
Why, smear everyone as tobacco industry stooges, of course.
I'll let someone who is well aware of their methods explain. Here's prominent anti-tobacco campaigner, Dr Michael Siegel, in November last year.
If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group. Consequently, the chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles. And in no situation should one say anything positive about an opponent, even if true.ASH are now facing one of their biggest challenges for years.
How do I know this?
Because for many years, I was one of the main trainers of tobacco control advocates in the United States. And this is what I taught, because this was what I was led to believe. I attended many conferences and trainings and this is precisely what I was taught. I accepted it for the truth, and passed it along to others.
The state of the country's finances are so dire that their 'services' are quite simply unaffordable. The coalition government has stated that they are cutting the supply of funds to serially failed policies such as those promoted by the likes of ASH.
Their tobacco display ban is in tatters. The Tories have vowed to overturn it, while the Lib Dems, if Norman Lamb is to be taken as a guide, won't be insisting it stays.
Commenting on today’s ban on the open display of tobacco in shops, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, Norman Lamb said: “This is the nanny state going too far.Gone are the days when ASH lies were published automatically, too. The usually eagerly gullible BBC steered well clear of this steaming effluence from their plant at Policy Exchange, for example. And even celebrities are sticking two fingers up.
“This will hit small businesses with added costs while there is no clear evidence that it will actually reduce the number of young people smoking."
So, with nowhere left to run, they revert to the hard-wired scare tactic. Accusing everyone of being a tobacco-paid baby-eater.
"Dirty tricks used by cigarette companies to derail UK health policies that could save the lives of thousands of Britons every year are laid bare in a report, The Smoke Filled Room, published by ASH today.It's a bare-faced lie, of course - what else would one expect from ASH - but it's also a bit rich considering the 'smokefree coalition' (of which ASH was a member) used just such a tactic [pdf p.15] in the run up to the smoking ban vote.
Big Tobacco hoodwinked MPs into signing an Early Day Motion against point-of-sale displays by bombarding them with postcards purporting to be from worried shopkeepers ..."
Cancer Research UK, the biggest cancer charity in the UK in particular substantially increased its campaigning activity. It involved its 1,000 fundraising committees, volunteers in its 620 shops and 3,000 staff and scientists in letter-writing and Christmas card campaigns to MPs. In the run up to the vote on the legislation both Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation ran advertising campaigns to urge the public to lobby their MPs on the issue and succeeded in mobilising 25,000 people to do so.ASH's hypocrisy isn't going down too well, as you can imagine, with businessmen and women who, unlike ASH, earn their living without having to beg civil servants for state handouts.
ASH claim that the Tobacco Retailers Alliance is a ‘mere subsidiary’ of the TMA (the Tobacco Manufacturers Association) and a ‘front organisation’ for the tobacco industry, but fail to mention the Alliance’s 26,000 members, all of whom are independent retailers.Indeed.
Ken Patel, National Spokesman for the Tobacco Retailers Alliance and a newsagent from Leicester, said: “ASH have always been bullies but this report is stooping to a new low."
[TRA South East spokesperson] Debbie Corris said: “This is typical of ASH – they want to discredit the masses of support retailers have from the public and in particular from our customers. How dare they?! As an independent business we are perfectly entitled to campaign against proposals like the display ban that would directly impact on our businesses.”
“I have to question whether it is appropriate for a so-called ‘charity’ that receives so much Government funding to discriminate against legitimate, hard-working businesses in this way.”
It really is desperate stuff from ASH.
An organisation worried about its future funding, facing the humiliation of their tobacco display ban - gained on the back of misleading parliament - being overturned, is fighting back the way they have been programmed to do. With tantrums and unsubstantiated smears.
But we've seen it all before. Even the dullards in the House of Commons aren't going to be fooled with this one.
Falling back on the 'big bad tobacco' defence may have worked before, but ASH's tactics are now recognised to be as manipulative, selfish, and repugnant as those employed in the past by their arch-enemies. They are the anti-smoking pigs morphed into tobacco's Farmer Jones.
ASH are out of ideas and scared.
Reason enough I'd say, to celebrate World No Tobacco Day today with a nice cigar and a satisfied smile.