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The pied pipers of puffing
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  1. SIMON CHAPMAN
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Imagine if Saddam Hussein sought to sponsor an educational programme for schools on peace studies. Or if the pornography industry tried to sponsor an art appreciation course for schools. Or the Ku Klux Klan a racial harmony programme. Most would think something was a tad fishy. So what are we to make of a tobacco company working behind the scenes to sponsor a health education programme for schools?

Spot the Philip Morris logo … we can’t.

United States Representative Clarence Brown (Republican, Ohio) standing up for tobacco control with a no-smoking role model in front of the Capitol in 1971 at the start of a campaign against smoking by the District of Columbia Medical Society. Mr Brown was clearly pleased to be cementing closer relations with Judy Baker, a prominent figure in tobacco control that year as holder of the title “Miss No Smoking Pin-up”. Times have changed and it is doubtful that any politician today, especially in the United States, would be caught in a similar position, for fear of earning himself a disreputable moniker and going down in the next elections. (Photo credit: UPI Telephoto.)

When Australian, New Zealand, and Fijian schoolchildren returned to school early this year after their summer holidays, some had the dubious privilege of experiencing a new health education programme entitled I’ve got …

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