Thursday 7 March 2013

Return Of The Illicit Deniers

Back in October, I described how the tobacco control industry were reporting out-of-date statistics to 'prove' that tobacco companies were lying about current trends. Ironic, huh?
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 Yes, the figures are almost two years out of date.
A few days earlier, The Sun had carried more recent stats - you know, ones which were relevant to October 2012 not 2010 - that were quite startling.
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.
In fact, so alarming has the rise been recently that it is considered a very real concern by Westminster.
A parliamentary committee is to investigate the illicit trade in tobacco for the first time. 
The intention of the Home Affairs Select Committee to launch an inquiry into the black market comes as the world’s fourth-largest tobacco company warned yesterday that first-half adjusted operating profit would be dented by “increasing levels of illicit trade” in Europe.
Since October, though, the phenomenon appears to have become more acute still.
More than one in four cigarettes smoked in Britain is illicit and Gillingham in Kent has emerged as the town with the worst habit.
Especially in London.
About one in three of all cigarettes smoked in London are either illicit or counterfeit imports, a new survey reveals today. 
Organised crime gangs are behind a surge in the number of counterfeit or smuggled cigarettes flooding into the UK, it is claimed. One former Scotland Yard detective said cigarette smuggling was taking over from the drug trade as the crime of choice for many London gangs. 
Former Yard detective chief inspector Will O’Reilly said the trade was the fastest growing crime in the UK.
All seem to be agreed, then. The evidence is pretty conclusive that there is a sharp and observable rise in the illicit trade.

Well no, apparently not. The latest from tobacco control to play the part of Comical Ali is Jean King of Cancer Research UK.
While illicit tobacco is still a problem, figures from HM Revenue and Customs show smuggling has more than halved since its peak, now down to 9 per cent for cigarettes.
Can you guess what year the figures she is using come from? (I'll give you a clue - it's not 2013 or 2012, and I've already mentioned it above)

I refer you to the same suggestion I raised when this chucklesome fingers-in-ears exercise surfaced before.
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"?
Yes. Yes, I think we shall.


c777 said...

Their answer will be a "crackdown", homes and premises raided.
It will be a "big success" just like the war on illicit drugs, NOT!
Maybe if they just lowered to tobacco tax to EU levels eh?
No far too simple, that would work.
Besides they need the tax, still soon it will be only 1 in 4 cigarettes smoked is legit not the other way round.
They lose either way.
Serves them right.

Crossbow said...

I recently heard Martin Dockrell of ASH state categorically at a public health conference that the illicit tobacco problem was a fabrication of the tobacco industry, and there was no evidence for it in reality. His point was rather undermined by a speaker later in the day, when a trading standards officer (who after all are the one who deal with enforcement in the UK) dedicated almost his entire presentation to the problems of counterfeit (and smuggled) tobacco

Mr A said...

You only have one folder for "Tobacco Control talking utter bollocks"?
It must be a Helluva big folder!

Alan Bates said...

Sorry to go off-topic at the start! Feel free to delete ...
I was surprised to see e cigs on sale at our local small Tesco. Not just on display but right at the front of the Customer Service cum tobacco desk!

Ten Motives rechargable electronic cigarettes

Michael J. McFadden said...

Since tobacco is a consumer good that only a minority of the population enjoys, and since smuggling has nothing to do with taxation, then it would seem likely that there must also be a huge problem with BROCCOLI smuggling!

Illegal broccoli has been known to have had insects walk on it and even defecate on it during its growth cycle. The remains of such transgressions can never entirely been removed, and those who have bought their broccoli from "the green van man" never know just how much insect feces they're getting in their diet or feeding to their children.

Remember: ONLY buy verified, government-approved broccoli for the happiest and healthiest life!

You'll thank me later.


Rob said...

You don't have to be mentally I'll to work in tobacco control but it helps.

Rob said...

Fucking iPhone spell checker!!!! Gah

Lysistrata Eleftheria said...

One of the members of another forum I frequent has this as their signature: "The broccoli was soon gone. But the hurt remained." :)

moonrakin said...

I think they don't care about the truth of their assertions on independent importing... any old bollocks will suffice.

The key thing here is word association mind games. The game is to repeat illicit + illegal + cigarettes + tobacco in publicly funded advertising and arse licking media PR churnalism as many times as possible. Gannet Media (Newsquest UK) newspaper articles on his seem to have had the comments disabled.