Tobaco Company Offers Perks to British Parliamentary Aides

Cigarette retail 'power wall' surrounded by candyNick Harris, the corporate affairs manager of Gallaher Group, the world's third largest tobacco company and the British subsidiary of Japan Tobacco, offered perks of free entertainment to aides working for members of the British Parliament (MPs) in advance of legislation that would ban cigarette displays in stores. Harris offered the aides tickets to the celebrity dance show "Strictly Come Dancing," roughly the British equivalent of "Dancing with the Stars." Tickets were valued at 47.25 British pounds (about $69 U.S.). After the UK instituted a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, cigarette displays in stores started growing in size and prominence, using bright lights and flashy signage that attract youth to smoking. The bill, introduced by UK Health Minister Michael McGimpsey, would remove cigarette displays in shops and restrict underage access to cigarette vending machines. Japan Tobacco distributes Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Camel and Winston brands.


Drug giants accused over doctors' perks

Free flights, meals and match tickets can damage patient care, say critics

Drug companies are spending millions of pounds every year on all-expenses-paid trips to conferences around the world for doctors and other hospital staff, in what critics say is a massive marketing exercise dressed up as medical education. ...