This is an issue that should be investigated by the Government or the Auditor-General. Yet again we have evidence of taxpayer-funded groups using their funding to lobby the Government for specific law and policy changes.Sounds familiar.
This is an extremely bad thing. The Government should not be effectively paying people to lobby Parliament and the Government a specific way.
A quick look at the ASH website makes it clear it is a lobby group, but a lobby group that gets 89% of its funding from the taxpayer. I am all in favour of taxpayer funding quit smoking initiatives, but not funding a lobby group. One of its values is “A dedication to influencing public policy and social norms to tobacco related harm.” It has a page on its current campaigns, of which seven are about law changes, only one is actually about quitting smoking.Very familiar.
This isn't the UK version though, instead it is their New Zealand counterparts.
Using the parlance we see regularly from groups like these, we seem to be in the grip of a global epidemic of organised tax-sponging. Throughout the western world there are unproductive wasters begging for a government handout provided by funds extorted from 'hard-working families' (© Gordon Brown 1997-2010).
They claim to be grass roots organisations or - hah! - charities, but are really just front groups for Big Government and Big Pharma. In New Zealand, even the 11% of funding that wasn't extorted from government is from people who have seen a government minister on the telly once, so they are as tainted as the rest.
In the UK, ASH was formed as an astroturf organisation in 1972 due to the non-existence of anyone remotely giving a tuppenny toss about an activity enjoyed by millions. They have a history of disrupting society by way of underhand tactics, propaganda, and secretly colluding in the recruitment of compliant 'scientists' to produce results for payment.
The tobacco control industry costs the world economy millions of pounds per day, and one in every two people who enters the profession will shrivel up like a curtain-twitching prune as a result of their addiction to other people's money.
The tobacco control industry knows that it needs to recruit 5,000 schoolchildren every year to maintain their future salaries, Koi carp, and skinny lattes from government grants, and they do so by targeting schools with myths and 'glitzy' online marketing campaigns.
Anti-smoking cockwaffle is the only advocacy product which kills democracy, social harmony, and community when adhered to as intended.
H/T Crampton & Andrews