LETTER: Tobacco sector calls the shots It is time we stopped allowing a malign industry to dictate public health policy

Your article on the pushback against the need for new tobacco legislation refers “Tobacco industry opposes laws to curb smoking”  (July 29).

 

The public opinion is supposedly represented by a survey commissioned by a tobacco company. I expect journalists to be more discerning than that. A survey commissioned by an interested party is not a plausibly independent view of the public’s opinions.

 

It is implausible that a large proportion of the public would see tobacco tax fraud as a major issue — it is not something on which most are informed. This indicates a poll designed to push a particular point of view.

 

I moved to Australia in 2002; at the time SA’s tobacco regulation was ahead of that in Australia. Australia has since moved on, and SA was behind on my return in 2011.

 

Protecting workers in vulnerable jobs such as in the hospitality sector should be a priority. Worldwide, when public spaces for smoking have been reduced the industry has made dire economic predictions and been proved wrong every time.

It is time we stopped allowing a malign industry to dictate public health policy.

 

 


This is the letter to the editor written by Philip Machanick Makhanda

originally appeared at The BusinessLive Website

link: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2019-07-30-letter-tobacco-sector-calls-the-shots/

 

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