Sadly, though, the social programme won't be enjoyed by those from the US, they've been grounded.
In a shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States will not send a delegation to Moscow this month to participate in global health talks that hold major implications for the tobacco and burgeoning e-cigarette industries.
Hosting the World Health Organization summit is a point of pride for Russia, and it is widely rumored that Putin will launch the event with a speech during the opening session of the meetings.
The decision to sit out the weeklong Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) meetings is based on U.S. displeasure over Russia’s actions in eastern Ukraine in recent months, said Bill Hall, director of the news division at the Department of Health and Human Services.
It follows a slate of U.S. economic sanctions aimed at the Kremlin in the months since Russia annexed Crimea and threw its support behind pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.Well, that does make sense. It aids consistency if a nation committed to sanctions against Russia doesn't then send cash to Moscow - in the form of tobacco control tourists funded by the state - whose presence would also allow Putin a smug giggle at their expense while he grandstands in front of them.
The US version of ASH is gutted.
“There definitely is some concern,” said Chris Bostic, deputy director of policy for Action on Smoking and Health, a group that advocates for global tobacco controls. “It is a shame that they will not be there in person.”It's a completely different story for the UK contingent, though. While David Cameron is ramping up sanctions against Russia, his government will be sending its usual delegation of 3 or 4 from the Department of Health, no doubt headed again by their tobacco-hater in chief Andrew Black.
Nor will the original ASH - that's the one our Department of Health created back in 1972 and inspiration for anti-smokers globally - miss out on the junket either. Deborah Arnott will also be there in Putin's backyard next week. Remember that Deborah's ASH is also funded by the state as provided from our taxes via an annual Section 64 grant, the primary justification for which is precisely why she is travelling to Moscow (see point 1 below).
While Cameron is talking about starving the Russian beast, his government is actively paying to send these people to Russia and to spend our money there. You really couldn't make it up.
Tobacco control doesn't care about passenger planes falling out of the sky or alleged abuses of human rights, their only focus is formulating more policies with which to attack smokers and - new for COP6 - those who prefer e-cigs.
Of course, Arnott will attend pretending to be the friend of the vaper, while her organisation does next to bugger all about the rising tide of vaping bans in pubs, trains, sports grounds etc caused by the WHO's stooges. She will hang on to the coat tails of the DH group and stay silent about outdoor smoking bans, despite there being no provable harm from outdoor smoking to bystanders. And she - from a group who claims on the very first page on their website not to want to "attack smokers" - will also enthusiastically whoop with joy as the WHO recommends sky high taxation on tobacco which directly impoverishes smokers globally.
All these extremists will be in Russia with the UK government's money while our country is claiming to be getting tough on Russia for extremism. Whut?
I keep thinking that the tobacco control industry are going to announce soon that they're not going; that it would be shameful to spend government money in Russia while sanctions are being applied. But then I remember, they don't know the meaning of the word shame, never have done.