Bob Blackman, the Conservative chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on smoking, asked Churchill if the government would stick to the convention post-Brexit. She told the Commons that the UK would “remain firmly committed to the convention… during the transition period and beyond”.
Blackman said he was “delighted by the government’s confirmation that it will continue to ensure that tobacco companies have no place in shaping public health policy”.
Churchill’s remarks were also welcomed by Hazel Cheeseman, the director of policy at Action on Smoking and Health. She said: “The government’s unambiguous rejection of tobacco industry interference is extremely welcome but we must continue to be vigilant. PMI and other tobacco companies will continue to try and shape public health policy in their own interests and the government must hold firm to its commitments.”
PMI said it supported the government’s commitment to make England smoke-free by 2030. “To realise this ambition, millions of current smokers need to be persuaded to quit altogether or switch to less harmful alternatives. Critical to this will be putting in place a regulatory framework that ensures smokers have the facts about alternatives and that tobacco companies are pushed to phase out cigarettes.
“We have made this point time and time again to MPs, civil servants, local councillors, journalists and the broader public. What this story really shows is that Philip Morris has been consistent in its efforts to make smoke-free 2030 a reality.”