Just how neutral is Maria Miller’s smokescreen and plain package advocate Sir Cyril Chantler? Earlier he would have had us believe he is just a simple Consultant Paediatrician, yet he holds a Parliamentary staff pass from Baroness Cumberlege, the former Junior Health Minister, who in 1992 called for a complete phase out on the sale of cigarettes in the UK by 2020:
“The 25 phase-out would require sharp reductions in the numbers of young people who take up smokers “redoubling education efforts will go a long way to that end,” said Lady Cumberlege “Ultimately, I suppose some form of prescription dispensing could be envisioned to ‘accommodate’ the last aged addicted smokers in the realm,” she said.”
Interestingly Baroness Cumberlege set up a company called Cumberlege Eden which works extensively with the NHS, regulatory organisations and the pharmaceutical industry. As part of this work they run various lobbying programmes – one called The Westminster Experience:
“The Westminster Experience does not simply provide a way of introducing people to Government whose organisations they may need to influence; it is a way of learning how (and how not) to deal with them on “live” issues which may unfold in the glare of the hostile press. As well as political skills, participants will learn to appreciate how important timing and the use of language can be to Ministers and civil servants.”
What stage of the 25 part plan to ban smoking is keeping the plain pack report author sweet?