UK parliament group to launch tobacco inquiry
A British parliamentary committee said on Friday it would open an inquiry in November into the tobacco industry and the health risks of smoking.
Parliament's Health Committee said the hearings would look at ``what action the tobacco industry has taken, and is currently taking, in response to the scientific knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking and the addictive nature of nicotine.''
"It will also assess the role of government in providing consumer protection,'' it said.
Tobacco giants British American Tobacco and Philip Morris, who have been asked to give evidence to the committee, said they hoped the inquiry would give them an opportunity to put forward their case.
"We believe that the committee will endeavour to ensure a fair and balanced inquiry,'' Philip Morris' UK head of Corporate Affairs said in a statement.