UK Government criticised for promoting ‘cheap tobacco’

Charity says ‘it is wrong for any government to be encouraging its citizens to spend money on tobacco’

Thursday 12th September 2019

The UK Government has been criticised after it claimed British tourists would be able to stock up on cut-price alcohol and cigarettes duty-free if the UK leaves the EU with no deal on October 31st.

In a tweet, the Treasury said Brits holidaying in Europe would be able to ‘buy beer, spirits, wine and tobacco without duty being applied in the UK’ if a no-deal Brexit takes place.

But the British Lung Foundation says the post ‘sends out entirely the wrong message’ about the damage tobacco can do to health.

Joseph Carter of British Lung Foundation Scotland has written to the Scottish Government urging them to object to the promotion of ‘cheap tobacco’.

He says this undermines Scottish Government targets to cut smoking rates to less than five per cent by 2034.

‘Like us,’ the letter states, ‘I hope that you agree it is wrong for any government to be encouraging its citizens to spend money on tobacco.’

‘As the charity looking after the UK’s lung health, we hope that you will write to the UK Government to make your objections known.’

The full letter can be read here.