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Professor Adams: Tobacco Firms Use Gift-Giving, Donations to Form Cozy Relationships with Politicians

Wednesday 6 December 2023, 5:48AM

By Expert Briefing

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Tobacco firms are succeeding in reversing anti-smoking policies by forming comfortable relationships with politicians, according to Professor Peter Adams from the University of Auckland School of Population Health.

He argued that tobacco firms use gift-giving and donations to form relationships with politicians, creating an atmosphere of friendship where pressure does not need to be applied, and explained that this is hard to evidence through studies.

Adams said the most effective methods to change smoking rates are through taxation and limiting availability, but warned that the pushback against anti-smoking policies shows the level of influence tobacco firms have, and expressed concern that vaping - seen as a cessation tool - may increase industry influence.