Finally, tobacco control’s opponents are not necessarily accepting the status quo. Indeed, libertarians and political conservatives continue to oppose governmental intervention (that is, tobacco control laws) in the marketplace and argue strenuously that the tobacco control movement has overreached.6 While substantial retrenchment seems unlikely, it will be difficult to generate new successes without engendering a potential political backlash if additional laws are viewed as too intrusive. At best, tobacco control advocates will be able to consolidate gains already achieved.
If you notice they will not engage in an open and honest debate about any aspect of smoking bans. Even their blogs are heavily moderated and do not allow links to other sites so evidence based arguments are almost impossible. And of course because of their ties to Big Pharmaceuticals they can afford big media campaigns.
A related concern is that a professional tobacco control movement is dependent on continued funding rather than grass roots organising. For instance, the American Legacy Foundation’s future financial security is tied to a complicated funding formula dependent on tobacco consumption patterns. Other professional organisations are dependent on continued foundation funding, which is always subject to changing strategies and new leadership. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been a strong supporter of tobacco control research and strategies, and will continue to be, but at an increasingly reduced level. The Foundation is shifting priority to reducing the nation’s obesity epidemic.
And as recent articles have shown enforcement is almost impossible, Tobacco control calls this the Maintenance stage and even they admit that this is a failure.
it seems clear that the tobacco control movement can be characterised as falling in the “Maintenance” stage. After an extraordinary period of growth and success in the “Action” stage during the 1990s, tobacco control is arguably in a period of consolidating recent gains.8 Our concern, however, is that the tobacco control movement could easily migrate into the “Relapse” stage, where some of the successes could be in jeopardy and where continued progress is difficult.
Ohio and Illinois are classic examples of this. Should we allow political activist groups(with deep pockets) such as this form public policy without an open an honest debate about both the economic impact and the science behind the bans?