Tobacco ban could make 15,000 jobs

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Banning tobacco advertising and reducing smoking would create more jobs than it destroyed, according to a study. If a total ban on tobacco advertising resulted in a fall in cigarette consumption of 5-10 per cent, as estimated in a Government report, there would be a net increase of 15,000 jobs, researchers claim.

Researchers at the Centre of Health Economics at the University of York and Society for the Study of Addiction say this contradicts the impression given by the industry that tobacco is good for jobs. Policies to reduce smoking would be good for the nation's economy as well as its health, they say.

A spokeswoman for Ash, the anti-smoking group, said tobacco manufacturing employed 8,000 people in Britain. Evidence from the Family Expenditure Survey showed money saved on smoking was spent on more labour-intensive products. If the target 40 per cent reduction in smoking were achieved, it would create a net 150,000 jobs.

On the claim that a ban on tobacco sponsorship for Formula One racing would result in job losses, the researchers point out that the jobs include those involved in the Indy cars, whose races are based entirely abroad. - Jeremy Laurance