A report from The Guardian reveals that a public relations company failed to tell local newspapers it was working for British American Tobacco, a multinational company that manufactures and sells cigarettes.
The PR agency Pagefield last week sent news outlets press releases that appeared to attempt to discredit NHS and council stop-smoking services, which are understood to create vast net savings nationally by helping people kick the habit. Pagefield did not initially say it was working on behalf of the manufacturer of cigarette brands including Camel, Pall Mall and Dunhill.
Citing NHS figures, the press release documented the cost per taxpayer for the schemes in their areas without taking into account the money saved by the health service through the reduced burden from smokers requiring treatment. BAT, which owns the e-cigarette brand Vype, suggested the campaign was intended to encourage smokers into vaping.