One of the tactics of the anti to avoid debating the science behind the ban or talk about the economic effects of the ban is to accuse you of being a tobacco mole. I know that our group has been accused of that. I have seen Ryan on newspaper forums being accused of that. As a matter of fact from a past post by Ryan.
I guess every organization has milestones with which to judge their progress, and for us it looks to be the first time we are accused of being funded by “big tobacco” by a somewhat reputable source.
Yes, former University of Wisconsin system Chancellor Larry Schnack responded to an individual who cited us as a reputable source by dismissing us as “funded in large part by the tobacco industry.”
Those of us who have been fighting the ban for a while have gotten use to such accusations and tend to ignore them as ignorant. But this is actually a tactic that is taught to those against us to discredit our arguments. Michael Siegel a former member of Tobacco Control gives us the lowdown.
IN MY VIEW: Brainwashing in the Anti-Smoking Movement: #1 – Smearing the Opposition
If you take part in secondhand smoke policy training in the tobacco control movement, chances are that you will be taught that all opposition to smoking bans is orchestrated by the tobacco industry, that anyone who challenges the science connecting secondhand smoke exposure and severe health effects is a paid lackey of Big Tobacco, and that any group which disseminates information challenging these health effects is a tobacco industry front group. Consequently, the a chief strategy of tobacco control is to smear the opposition by accusing them of being tobacco industry moles. And in no situation should one say anything positive about an opponent, even if true.
How do I know this?
Because for many years, I was one of the main trainers of tobacco control advocates in the United States. And this is what I taught, because this was what I was led to believe. I attended many conferences and trainings and this is precisely what I was taught. I accepted it for the truth, and passed it along to others.
The most prominent and dogmatic idea presented to us was that “The debate is over.” There is no room for questioning of the link between secondhand smoke and chronic disease. Anyone who challenges that link or suggests that it is being exaggerated must therefore be a front for the tobacco industry. No reasonable person – acting of their own accord – would challenge this undebatable science.