In November 2011, Imperial Tobacco launched Smoking Allowed, a campaign aimed "to support those 12 million UK adults who choose to smoke tobacco". As part of this campaign, Imperial Tobacco provides smoking shelters across the UK, with the first one opened at Bristol Airport in November 2011 (see photo right).
In April 2012, Imperial launched another Smoking Allowed initiative in Birmingham airport by opening a new airside balcony (see photo below). The Smoking Allowed website states that this balcony was constructed in response to research conducted with adult smokers which indicated that smokers would like more support when travelling. No references to the research are provided on the webpage.
The campaign includes a website that - eight months after the launch of the campaign - is still exclusively dedicated to the Bristol and Birmingham facilities; however the website “About Us” page states that outputs from the Imperial Tobacco Smoking Allowed campaign “will include high-quality smoking pavilions being placed at key points across the UK.”
In addition to press contacts, the website provides a page with seven links, two links to Imperial company websites, one to the smokers lobby organisation Forest, which is part funded by Imperial Tobacco, one to the industry's trade organisation, the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, one to Rizla+, the UK’s best-selling rolling paper brand and two campaigns that Hands Off Our Packs and Save Our Pubs and Clubs. Both of these campaigns are run by industry funded Forest.
Jason Wescott, Bristol Airport’s Head of Sales & Marketing, was quoted by Tobacco Journal International as saying:
- Imperial Tobacco is making a significant investment in the South West region with the development of a new GBP 200m headquarters and the relocation of its international sales and marketing team. Bristol Airport will continue to work closely with Imperial Tobacco to ensure the best global travel options are available from their local airport. The new smoking area provided by Imperial Tobacco offers a comfortable and clean environment for customers wishing to smoke, whether they are travelling from Bristol Airport or meeting visitors arriving from around the world.
The Imperial campaign, including the website, is a example of Corporate Social Responsibility by a tobacco manufacturer, as it complies to smoking regulations whilst providing services for smokers.
- About Smoking Allowed, accessed 7 March 2012
- Don Hedley, What's Happening in Tobacco - May 2012, Euromonitor International, accessed June 2012
- Imperial Tobacco, Smoking Allowed, Birmingham Airport, accessed July 2012
- Forest, Forest to petition government against plain packaging, 30 January 2012, accessed 31 January 2012
- AmendTheSmokingBan.com, About us, undated, accessed 14 June 2011
- William McEwen, Smoking allowed – at an airport in the UK!, Tobacco Journal International 2 January 2012, accessed 7 March 2012