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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Dobson attacks over smoking bill
Frank Dobson
Mr Dobson said a ban on advertising could save 3000 lives
Former health secretary Frank Dobson has gone on the attack over the government's decision not to reintroduce a bill to ban cigarette advertising and sponsorship.

The bill was blocked in the last parliament by the House of Lords.


The Department of Health estimates that to ban the advertising and promotion of tobacco products would save 3,000 lives every year

Frank Dobson
Mr Dobson launched his own private member's bill, which would require all tobacco companies selling products in the UK to publish all of their scientific and marketing research, in order to inform smokers of the dangers of their habit.

But the Labour veteran, who promised to ban tobacco adverts when he was health secretary, said it was down to the government to reintroduce its bill in the autumn.

Addressing a meeting of the Commons group on smoking and health, he said: "The Department of Health estimates that to ban the advertising and promotion of tobacco products would save 3,000 lives every year.

"Set against the total tobacco death toll, that may not seem a lot. But it is a lot."

Saving lives

Mr Dobson said it was the most direct way available of saving lives.

"Other government bills are being given priority, but I challenge any of our government colleagues to identify any other bill which will save 3,000 lives."

Mr Dobson came seventeenth in the ballot for private member's bills, giving his Tobacco Disclosure Bill little chance of being debated on the floor of the house and none of becoming law.

He said the bill would "make sure that we know all the scientific information about the contents and effects of their products that the tobacco companies keep to themselves".

He added: "Just as important, we would know from their market research everything they are contemplating.

"That would put the government in a position to counter whatever promotional techniques the tobacco companies intend to deploy."

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See also:

17 Jul 01 | Health
Bid to 'expose' tobacco industry
11 Jul 01 | Health
Tobacco ad ban attempt revived
11 Sep 00 | UK Politics
Dobson rules out cabinet jobs
20 Mar 00 | UK Politics
Dobson gambles on mayoral lottery
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