Labour leader pushes government access for Big Tobacco firms

Howlin and FG’s Noone among politicians canvassed by industry; cigarette giants anxious to influence anti-smoking initiatives

Leading tobacco firms have ramped up their lobbying of senior politicians across the political spectrum, recently convincing Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin to call on the government to meet them to discuss anti-smoking policies.

Last month, two giant cigarette-makers, Japan Tobacco and Imperial Brands, lobbied Howlin as part of their goal to loosen Ireland’s practice of not meeting with tobacco companies, a policy that is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Howlin ...