The Anti-Smoking Movement Without Smoking
ECD: So imagine the anti smoking movement succeeded in in achieving their aim. It would never happen, would it, I don't think either of us think that, if they made it illegal people would do it illegally, but imagine if it happened, just hypothetically, what would happen next? Would these people stop activating or would they have a new target?
Chris: Well, Julia Caroll, who used to be very high up in American's for Non-Smoker's rights, she was once asked that question, what would happen if tobacco miraculously disappeared, and she just said we'll move on to other causes. And undoubtedly there would be. There's been some migration already.
John Banzhaf of Action Smoking and Health, he's now a prominent campaigner in the so-called obesity wars, he's suing MACDonalds all over the place. You've got the whole food issue, you've got the whole alcohol issue, and all these people in the anti-smoking movement have got exactly the right transferable skills to move over into these areas.
By transferable skills I mean they can conjure up all sorts of research, they are very good at pr and they are very good at lobbying. So some of them are starting to move over there between sectors already. A lot of these people know each other anyway, they go to very similar conferences and talk about the same kind of thing. It's all part of the bigger picture which is the public health movement, which has grown and grown since the mid 70's.
So, without a doubt they would go on to campaign against something else. I mean, what else are they going to do? A lot of them probably get a kick out of bossing people around.