Simon Chapman, a man whose sharp tongue never quite hides his blunt mind, tweeted this witty put-down the other day.
Sadly for the Jurassic berk, it isn't actually true at all.
He was referring to this page from Cancer Research UK (ASH carried something similar the day before).
Rates of tobacco smuggling into the UK have fallen despite earlier claims from the tobacco industry that tax rises would prompt an increase in the illicit trade, official figures show.
An estimated nine per cent of cigarettes consumed in the UK in 2010/11 were illicit, compared with 11 per cent in the previous year, according to HM Revenue & Customs.I think you can see the problem there, can't you? Yes, the figures are almost two years out of date.
Since then, we have had two budgets. In 2011, duty was raised by 50p per pack and earlier this year, by a further 37p per pack.
Robin Hewings, Cancer Research UK's tobacco policy manager, commented: "The tobacco industry claims that cigarette smuggling is 'booming', 'set to grow' and that the UK is becoming the European 'hotspot'."It looks like they were entirely correct, because the latest figures - you know, not two year old ones - show exactly that.
THE trade in illicit cigarettes has exploded in the past year - with nearly 16.5 per cent of all fags now fake or counterfeit.
Shock figures last night revealed the black market rise - and piled pressure on to ministers. The proportion of “illicit” cigarettes smoked in the UK has soared by almost a FIFTH over the last 12 months, up from 13.8 to 16.4 per cent.That looks like confirmation that the illicit market was 'set to grow' and that it is now 'booming', wouldn't you agree?
The UK is, indeed, becoming a European 'hotspot', as the Tobacco Retailers Alliance - whose link was provided by Hewings - stated just over a week ago.
It probably explains why no newspapers picked up on this demonstrable tobacco control industry bullshit. You see, they were fully aware of the up-to-date figures and weren't conned by vested interest fanatics using old stats to rubbish more recent statements which happen to be true.
ASH and CRUK's economic illiteracy - that is, to ridiculously state that hikes in duty don't lead to increased avoidance - is even more cretinous when cross-referenced with the Taylor Report. This was commissioned by the previous government in 1999 but, strangely, only released in July.
It's pretty unambiguous.
"The principal cause of the smuggling, of course, is the high level of duty in the UK."Well, duh!
So, shall we just file this - like others where these morons exhibit their stupidity - in the ever-burgeoning folder labelled "tobacco control talking utter bollocks"?