Saturday, 18 June 2011

Judges back Department of Health - 550 people dumped on the dole


In a terrible decision the Appeal Court upheld the Government's proposed ban on cigarette vending machines:

Cigarette vending machines will be removed from pubs, clubs and restaurants after the top judges yesterday upheld a Government ban.

The measure, drawn up by the Department of Health to combat under-age smoking, will come into force in October.

 As a result of this decision an entire industry will close:

Tobacco industry chiefs said it would ‘abruptly and entirely eliminate’ the vending industry, costing at least 550 jobs.

And – even worse – the judges acknowledged that there’s no evidence to justify the decision:

...statistics used by the DoH to justify the ban were ‘little more than guesses’, the judge said

So 550 people go home tonight knowing they’ll have no job in October as a result of a decision based on evidence that is just a guess.

As an aside the self-important Ben Goldacre had this to say about people in public health:

People who work in public health bend over backwards to disseminate evidence-based information to the public

This single decision shows just how wrong Ben is (again).



Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

I saw this and wondered actually which actual law bans the sale of tobacco from vending machines in pubs - or is simply diktat, reinforced by a compliant bunch of clueless legal parasites?

F'rinstance - are publicans banned from selling "loosies" and cigars from from the bar?

It strikes me as diktat of the first order, since no Statutory Instrument / Act of Parliament has been quoted in any of the coverage I have seen...

Anonymous said...

"The measure, drawn up by the Department of Health to combat under-age smoking," ?

Article 13

Retail sale and display.

14. Vending machines should be banned because they constute by their very presence a means of advertising or promotion under the terms of the Convention.