The tobacco display ban came into full effect in the UK today, making it a crime for shopkeepers to show customers tobacco packaging. With an election looming, it is worth remembering that both the Conservatives and Lib Dems opposed this absurd policy in opposition before nodding it through once in power. This is because no matter who you vote for, public health always get in.
It is also remembering that the case for the display ban was based on a tissue of lies from ASH and the Department of Health, who worked together to drastically understate the cost of retailers. Their collaboration was laid bare in a series of e-mails released under the Freedom of Information Act. This scam received some media attention (eg. in The Guardian) and I later told the full story in a mini-report titled The Dark Market.
It is a fine example of how the government and its sock puppets stitch up public consultations, manufacture evidence and mislead the electorate. If you haven't done so before, today is a good day to read The Dark Market.