Rather odd, really, as they had been deadly quiet for months before that. Maybe it's the link with July and their annual defence of the 2007 ban, or perhaps they're getting a bit worried, I dunno.
Whichever it is, this article in the Guardian reaches the very pinnacle of pompous tobacco control naïveté.
Call for councils to remove £1bn in pension funds from tobacco firmsAs a doctor, Scally, I think it's rather fucking unethical of you to think that you should have any say in financial matters whatsoever.
NHS chief wants local authorities to disinvest from 'destructive industry'
"I am shocked by the size and extent of south-west local government pension investments in the tobacco industry and I am sure many of those contributing to the funds, as well as those receiving local government pensions, will be as well", said Dr Gabriel Scally, the NHS regional director of public health for the south-west.
"If it were my pension contributions being invested in an industry whose only product line killed people in the numbers that die from tobacco, I would be absolutely horrified. As a doctor I think it would be completely unethical to have any part in it", Scally added.
You're a doctor, not a financial adviser. I expect you to be very good at fixing people when they are broken. If, however, I'm looking to invest some cash for my old age, you're the very last person I'd consider consulting ... because you're a doctor. In fact, having read your words above, I don't even believe I'd be comfortable seeking your medical advice either, po-faced loon that you are.
That's the way of the world, you see, Scally? You chose a life in a white coat, pension fund managers however, are trained in exploiting the best financial markets for the benefit of their investors. Note that they don't pontificate on how best you should do your job, so what in heaven's name qualifies you to dictate how they should do theirs?
Oh sorry, I forgot to end that last sentence with 'you arrogant bastard'.
Here's a little lesson for you in how pension fund managers operate. They invest in companies because they are profitable and that is all they should be considering. Just yesterday we see one of those you - in your financial wisdom - decide is a bad investment doing rather well, for example.
People seeking a decent pension want as good a return on their investment as possible, it's not for medicos to decide their conscience for them. In fact, I'm sure regulatory bodies would have a stern word or two for any investment fund which wasn't doing their damnedest to maximise returns for their investors.
Scally - and Vivienne 'denormalise alcohol' Nathanson who is also mentioned in the piece - are also on very thin ice if urging pension investors to object to how their money is spent. Because at least those investing have some semblance of choice.
Scally and Nathanson, on the other hand, are paid out of enforced taxation to spout this crap, and if we refuse to pay because we really object to our money being given to their ilk - which I do, vehemently - we would be imprisoned.
So, tell you what. I'll take your moral objections as to how voluntary contributions are invested seriously, the day you tell ASH (for starters) to give the hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money - taken by force - back to the exchequor. Till then, shut the fuck up.
As for the Guardianista mentality exhibited in the comments, the calls for pensions to shed stocks in News International, armaments, big tobacco and others (BP would right piss them off too, I suspect) are hilarious. How do they think pension payments are going to be met without hugely profitable industries like these in fund portfolios? After all, the Guardian and their readers squeal like stuck pigs when council workers are asked to pay more in.
Sorry to burst that bubble, but pine nuts, air purifiers and cranberry juice shares just won't cut the pension mustard.