Tobacco control: “enough is enough”?
A new survey carried out by a pro-smoking EU lobby (yes, such a thing exists) has suggested that the public across several countries believe that strict tobacco control regulations have gone far enough, and there is little appetite for further measures.
18 December 2018 | 0
One always has to be wary of opinion polls, which have a tendency to – in some cases – be biased in favour of the group or company that commissioned it. We’re not suggesting at all that that is the case here, but the notion springs to mind.
Forest EU, a campaign group lobbying on behalf of adult smokers across the EU, has revealed the results of an opinion poll that there is little to no significant public support for furhter tobacco control measures. The poll of 6,167 adults across France, Poland, Italy, Romania and Spain revealed that 56% of respondents agree that “measures to tackle smoking have gone far enough”.
Furthermore, out of a list of ten key objectives, respondents said that curbing tobacco consumption is the second least important issue for the European Commission’s health directorate, far behind the top three objectives, being breast cancer, food information and waste, and tackling rare diseases.
On the topic of plain packaging, which came into law in Ireland earlier this year, Forest EU’s survey revealed that just 3% of EU citizens polled think the introduction of such packaging for tobacco products is the most effective solution to reduce youth smoking rates. This is far behind the support for mandatory education in schools (52%) and harsh penalties for retailers who sell tobacco to underage (23%).
Gilliaume Perigois, director of Forest EU (a brillian acronym for Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) said that anti-smoking campaign groups are pushing for new EU rules that they believe will eradicate smoking. “What this poll shows,” he said, “is that there is little public support for further extreme anti-smoking measures.
“What is also clear,” Perigois added, “is that EU voters support a common-sense approach to tobacco control. Regulation should not be made at the behest of taxpayer-funded lobby groups, but based on trustworthy, independent advice.”