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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Bid to 'expose' tobacco industry
Smokers
Mr Dobson's private members Bill calls for full disclosure
Former health secretary Frank Dobson is set to call for better regulation of the UK's tobacco industry.

And a full disclosure of any scientific or market research uncovered by them.

Mr Dobson, the labour MP for Holborn and St. Pancras, is to launch his Tobacco Disclosure Bill at an All Party Group on Smoking and Health on Tuesday night.

MPs will also hear from health experts that the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill should be reinstated and that the government made a mistake not including it in the Queen's speech.


We are entitled to know about the scientific research that tobacco companies carry out but keep to themselves

Frank Dobson

Full disclosure

Mr Dobson's private member's Bill will 'require the disclosure by companies selling tobacco products in the United Kingdom of full details of all scientific and market research carried out by them or associated companies and for connected purposes."

It is hoped the planned legislation will compel tobacco companies to disclose any data which could shed any light on their marketing tactics as well as the role of any UK tobacco companies in issues such as tobacco smuggling.

Cigarette production
MPs will hear criticism of the government dropping its Bill

Mr Dobson said it was important that as much as possible is known about the tobacco industry.

"We are entitled to know about the scientific research that tobacco companies carry out but keep to themselves.

"Just as important, we also need to know about their commercial and marketing information, so that their promotional techniques can be effectively countered."

Regulation

Professor Gordon McVie, director general of the Cancer Research Campaign, will tell the meeting that dropping the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill, was a grave error.

"I can't understand why the government does not make regulation of this lethal industry a priority.

"Action is long overdue and we will do everything to help promote Frank Dobson's Tobacco Disclosure bill and get the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Bill reinstated."

Karl Brookes, of the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said Mr Dobson's Bill will ensure everything is brought into the open.

"The tobacco industry could teach the KGB a thing or two about secret operations and cover ups.

"This disclosure Bill will drag their dirty past out into the light and show how only better regulation will reign in their corporate excesses."

The Tobacco Manufacturers' Association (TMA) called Mr Dobson's Bill "scarcely credible."

John Carlisle, of the TMA said: "The UK tobacco companies do not hold secret documents and have made it clear in the past that all information, which is not commercially sensitive, is available to the public.

"We have nothing to hide and have kept within the strict agreement with government that only additives or flavourings used in our products are approved by the government scientific committee."

He said that the tobacco industry was already "highly regulated."

"The TMA and its member companies have already agreed to a department of health request for a meeting next week."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jenny Scott
"They have ignored the wider cost of smoking"
See also:

11 Jul 01 | Health
Tobacco ad ban attempt revived
30 May 01 | Health
EU steps up war on smoking
04 May 01 | Health
No agreement on tobacco treaty
30 Apr 01 | Health
Anger over anti-tobacco treaty
01 Mar 01 | Health
EU takes firmer line on tobacco
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