I seriously think they've collectively lost the plot.
Jean King from Cancer Research UK declared categorically to MEPs in Brussels on 25th February that counterfeit cigarettes are not a big concern. I know this as I watched the live internet footage in disbelief as she said it, so did Snowdon.
Jean King of CRUK denies that counterfeit cigarettes are more dangerous than licit cigarettes. Ignorant, irresponsible nonsense. #TPD
— Christopher Snowdon (@cjsnowdon) February 25, 2013
This, of course, is because her presentation was solely designed to counter the real fears that police and customs officials have expressed over how plain packaging will encourage counterfeiters.
It's nice to see that she isn't bothering to say they're wrong. Instead, she makes the argument that when levels of illicit tobacco flooding into the country inevitably rise after the UK install plain packs, it won't be anything to worry unduly about.
Perhaps she should be liaising with state-funded Smokefree South West a bit more then.
A CAMPAIGN to make people aware of the dangers connected to illegal tobacco was launched on Monday.
It is estimated that one in five smokers in Wiltshire now smoke illegal tobacco, with the trade equating to a £211million retail value.
The partnership between Wiltshire Council, HM Revenue & Customs, Wiltshire Police, Smokefree South West and health care trusts wants to prevent illegally imported and counterfeit tobacco from reaching the region’s streets.Oh dear. Even crooks get their stories synchronised before mouthing off to authority. Schoolboy error.
“These kinds of products are very dangerous for people’s health as they are not regulated – in many cases the contents have just been swept off the floor of factories and we’ve seen packets containing rat droppings before,” said Rob Green, Wiltshire Council senior public protection officer.Someone is obviously, therefore, lying here. All that remains is to ascertain whether it is Smokefree South West or Jean King.
Police Inspector Lisette Harvey said: “We are behind this campaign as we know that criminal activity in these cases is not always just related to smuggling and can have sinister undertones attracting and exploiting young people and children.”If it is Jean King, the above would seem to suggest that she is making statements to the EU which will have the polar opposite effect of her regularly stated aim of protecting children.
I'd say both organisations have a duty to be consistent and honest when giving 'expert' advice but, to be blunt, I don't think any of them actually really care about truth.
H/T Wiltshire Times article e-mailed by Observant Yokel