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Big Tobacco campaigns on freedom

Sat 7th April, 2012

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International are helping to fund an unconventional libertarian campaign, reports the FT. 

“There is a feeling among the general public that the theft of trademarks is a step too far in terms of tobacco regulation,” said Michael Prideaux, BAT’s communications director. “Who will be next? I think the libertarian argument resonates among people who wouldn’t normally take notice of what the tobacco industry say.”

“Plain packaging is the persecution of minority lifestyle choice,” said Simon Clark, director of the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, or Forest, which will receive £330,000 in corporate tobacco funding for 2012 and is spearheading a campaign called Hands Off Our Packs (Hoops). “It feels as if we are part of a growing libertarian movement – this is something quite new and, from our point of view, very encouraging.”

Source: Financial Times (7 April 2012)

Note: 'Welcome to Nanny Town', the video referred to in the article, can be viewed here.

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