Smoking

House of Lords written question – answered on 26th February 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Spokesperson for Health

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have figures on how much tobacco companies have spent on marketing their product within the United Kingdom in the past five years; and whether these figures are based on estimates, were collected by the Government or supplied by the tobacco companies.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the tobacco companies on the amount they spend on marketing within the United Kingdom.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to requiring tobacco companies to disclose publicly the amount of money they spend on marketing their products in the United Kingdom, including the amount paid to retailers; and whether they have assessed the impact such a law has had in Canada.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

We understand from international evidence that tobacco companies invest in marketing activities to promote tobacco products, including payments to retailers to display tobacco products advantageously. During the development of the department's Consultation on the future of tobacco control that was published in May 2008, the department requested information from the tobacco industry on its payments to retailers for the display of tobacco products in shops. The tobacco industry has refused to provide such information. A copy of the consultation has already been placed in the Library.

The Government do not have powers to require tobacco companies to report marketing expenditure, and therefore holds no such information. We have made no specific assessment of the impact of Canadian laws requiring the disclosure of marketing expenditure by tobacco companies.

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