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Anti-prohibition news from over the world

Collected live from our allies' blogs.
Note: All opinions expressed below are those of the authors only, not necessarily TICAP's.

We can no longer trust health advice

Published on 2016-02-12 11:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've put a version of my speech from Tuesday's Spectator debate about the reliability (or otherwise) of health advice up at Spectator Health. Do have a read.

Full article

My EU Referendum Cynicism

Published on 2016-02-12 00:59:39.
Website: Frank Davis


Express: Government assumed that British people would vote to remain in EU DOWNING Street is panicking over the EU referendum because the government’s assumptions that voters would overwhelmingly back the remain side have been proven completely wrong, it has been … Continue reading →

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Correction and Retraction: Rhode Island Department of Health Did Not Claim that Vaping is as Hazardous as Smoking

Published on 2016-02-11 21:07:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In a February 9 commentary, I criticized the Rhode Island Department of Health for suggesting to the public that vaping is just as hazardous as smoking, based on a Channel 10 (NBC - Providence) article which made that claim. After closer examination (and after this was brought to my attention), I see now that it was a Brown University researcher who made that claim, and the statements by the Rhode Island Department of Health, while paired with and interspersed with this researcher's comments, did not express agreement with his claim that vaping is as hazardous as smoking.

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The Curious Incident Of The Wonk In The Night-time

Published on 2016-02-11 19:14:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


At the weekend, the boy P and I went along to an Aviva Premiership rugby match at The Stoop to see Harlequins v Northampton Saints.

Sadly they have a pretty pathetic policy on smoking and vaping outdoors.


This means you can't smoke or vape in the huge area behind the south stand specifically created for pre-match relaxation and enjoyment. So therefore both are forbidden here ...

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Latest Data from England Refute Argument that E-Cigarettes Do Not Help Smokers Quit

Published on 2016-02-11 12:59:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


The most recent data from the Smoking Toolkit Study, a periodic study of smoking cessation trends in England, reveal a striking finding. The success rate for smokers who tried to quit in the past year has increased dramatically from 14% in 2011 to 23% in 2016. The quit rate remained steady from 2007 to 2011 before rising steadily from 2011 to 2015 and then increasing dramatically over the past year.

What is driving this spectacular increase in smoking cessation rates?

One strong hypothesis is that a shift in methods used for quitting is propelling this change. Starting in 2011 and coinciding precisely with the increased quit rate was a dramatic shift away from the use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) in quit attempts and towards the use of electronic cigarettes.

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Substance Users

Published on 2016-02-11 00:14:06.
Website: Frank Davis


H/T Audrey Silk for this NYT piece on the hospital treatment of “substance users”: We are their doctors and nurses, their parents, their arresting officers, parole officers, judge and jury. Needless to say, we are not trained for the last five … Continue reading →

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Sydney: A Glimpse Of The Future?

Published on 2016-02-10 17:41:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Last summer a good friend of mine, Tim Andrews, popped by on his way to Europe and shared more than the recommended amount of sherberts with a few of us in London.

To peals of laughter, he regaled us with tales of some of the barmy rules his home of Sydney has imposed on drinking. From stories about the state deciding when he is allowed to drink to waiters chasing him around with a plastic chair because he walked out into the sunshine to enjoy a beer - where it is illegal to drink without being seated - we could only react with pity. Well, a lot of hilarity too, of course, I mean how could you not?

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More or Less finally encounters Stanton Glantz

Published on 2016-02-10 16:19:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


More or Less is on fire at the moment. Following on from its tidy analysis of the new drinking guidelines, the latest episode looks at Stanton Glantz's meta-analysis that purported to show that e-cigarettes prevent smoking cessation. Needless to say, Tim Harford is not impressed.

It's a shame it's taken so long to for the clown Glantz to cross More or Less's radar. If they went through his back catalogue of policy-based junk science they could put out an episode every day for the next few years.

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James Cracknell on Coke

Published on 2016-02-10 13:57:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Ex-rower James Cracknell has become to latest rich white guy to put his weight behind the sugar tax campaign. He's being supported by the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, thus proving once again that when it comes to nanny state interference there is no separating socialists from conservatives.

Cracknell doesn't seem very sure that a sugar tax will actually 'work' but he thinks it's worth a try. The £1 billion a year cost will fall disproportionately on the plebs, after all.

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rue89: "Facebook vous suit, même si vous n’y êtes pas inscrit"

Published on 2016-02-10 02:56:40.
Website: Accueil


Rue89: "Avec les boutons « Like » ou « Partager » qui pullulent sur la Toile, le réseau social a semé de petites graines lui permettant de pister tous les internautes, y compris ceux qui n’ont pas de compte Facebook. On vous explique comment un petit fichier rapporteur s’installe pour deux ans sans prévenir dans votre disque dur.

"Avis aux originaux qui ne font pas partie du 1,5 milliard d’utilisateurs actifs de Facebook : si vous pensiez échapper au plus grand réseau social mondial, ses tentacules vous rattrapent. Même si vous n’y êtes pas inscrits.

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Vlogging

Published on 2016-02-10 00:05:16.
Website: Frank Davis


“Vlogging” is a new word I’ve been encountering recently, and so today I went and found out a bit more about it. Vlogging is video blogging, where people post up videos. Here’s one. I don’t think it’s something I could … Continue reading →

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Mayo Clinic and a Brown University Researcher Add Themselves to Growing List of Groups Claiming Smoking is No Worse than Vaping

Published on 2016-02-09 13:25:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


Sixteen years ago, if you heard anyone group claim that tobacco smoke is no more hazardous than tobacco-free, propylene glycol vapor, you would have assumed that the group was tied to the tobacco industry. Without question, that organization would be have been blasted by the anti-smoking and health groups.

In 2016, in an ironic twist, those organizations are the anti-smoking and health groups.

Today, we can add two more entities to the long and growing list of anti-smoking organizations or advocates that are helping to protect cigarette profits by telling the public that smoking is no more dangerous than vaping, which is known to be a much safer alternative.

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Action and Reaction

Published on 2016-02-09 00:11:38.
Website: Frank Davis


I suppose that one of the puzzles for me in recent years has been: Where did all these antismokers came from? After all, 60 years ago there weren’t any, as far as I could see. Smoking was completely unremarkable. The … Continue reading →

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Fake Charities, From Blog To Statute

Published on 2016-02-08 21:59:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



What with the joyous news of both the imminent shutdown of Smokefree South West and the government's new rules on 'government lobbying government', it's been a marvellous few days, hasn't it?

Full article

Washington State Department of Health Bemoans the Fact that Smokers are Switching to E-Cigarettes; Tells them Smoking is No More Hazardous than Vaping

Published on 2016-02-08 10:45:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In a message to smokers throughout the state of Washington, the Washington State Department of Health bemoans the fact that so many of them are switching to electronic cigarettes because they think e-cigarettes are safer and implies that they should stay with smoking, telling them that smoking is actually no more hazardous than using tobacco-free, non-combusted e-cigarettes.

The Department of Health warns smokers that: "People may be attracted to E-cigarettes because of unproven claims that they are safer and more accepted than traditional cigarettes."

Full article

Manby, Hillary, and Plimsoll

Published on 2016-02-08 01:58:07.
Website: Frank Davis


Purely out of slight interest while eating this evening, I was watching the BBC’s Shipwrecks: Britain’s Sunken History on BBC iplayer. It recounted the story of how, during the 19th century, all sorts of ways for saving the lives of shipwrecked … Continue reading →

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Why It's Right To Rejoice At Smokefree South West's Demise

Published on 2016-02-07 20:24:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Following Friday's fantastic news that Smokefree South West have lost their funding and are to close in six months, it seems there are many tobacco controllers who are rather piqued that some of us are delighted.

Apparently, it's considered bad form in tobacco control circles for anyone to express such a view. I've seen it variously described as "unpleasant", "unnecessary", and "spiteful" amongst other adjectives. For example:

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Le Matin Dimanche: " Faut-il interdire la cigarette en prison pour la santé des détenus ?"

Published on 2016-02-06 23:36:40.
Website: Accueil


Le Matin Dimanche: " Les médecins aimeraient bannir la cigarette, les établissements craignent les émeutes.

"C’est déjà arrivé deux fois. En 2014, le Tribunal fédéral a statué à deux reprises sur des plaintes pour fumée passive en prison. Des cas qui pourraient se reproduire, comme en témoigne la récente affaire d’un détenu alémanique qui s’est retrouvé, dit-il, enfermé «dans un enfer de fumée 23 heures sur 24».



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Link Tank 06/02

Published on 2016-02-06 10:15:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Links of interest in the past fortnight.

Democracy, latter-day Luddites, and Uber

Mexico’s two-year-old sugar tax is failing

Should anything be 'beyond a joke'?

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The beginning of the end of the sock puppet state

Published on 2016-02-06 00:26:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


This is the best new I've heard in ages.

Charities to be banned from using public funds to lobby ministers
Revealed: A new clause to be inserted into all new and renewed grant agreements will make sure that taxpayer funds are spent on improving people's lives and good causes, rather than covering lobbying for new regulation 
Charities in receipt of Government grants will be banned from using these taxpayer funds to engage in political lobbying, The Telegraph can disclose.

Full article

Goodbye and good riddance

Published on 2016-02-05 17:04:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It's always nice to see a leech being pulled off the arteries of the taxpayer...

Smokefree South West to close this summer after cuts to funding
Taking Liberties has the full details, but isn't it telling that these organisations make no attempt to carry on with private donations once the state withdraws its funding? Take away taxpayers' money and they're dead. The public don't want to know.

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Smokefree South West Just Quit

Published on 2016-02-05 10:31:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Aww such a shame, how will we cope without Smokefree South West and their government lobbying government antics, eh? Via Simon Clark:
The BBC has this morning revealed that eleven councils in the south west are to stop funding the anti-smoking campaign group Smokefree South West which will close in June.Looks like these councils have decided to cut out the middle man and just take advice from people they don't pay to come up with biased bullshit.

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Living in the past

Published on 2016-02-05 09:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever 
correctly reported in a newspaper"George Orwell

Some, er, interesting journalism from Andrew Whitaker in the Scotsman...
 
Calls for action as Scotland records highest rate of alcohol deaths in UK 
Scotland had the worst rate for alcohol-related deaths in any part of the UK, according to figures recorded over the past 20 years. Alcohol death rates for men in Scotland have risen dramatically, according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics. In Scotland they stood at 31.2 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 18.1 per 100,000 in England, 20.3 in Northern Ireland and 19.9 for Wales. 

Full article

Government Lobbying Government Spotted In Bristol

Published on 2016-02-04 21:23:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


ASH organised a massive protest in Bristol yesterday.

Tobacco companies make billions in profit, more than the GDP of some countries #makethempay #imperialagm #coughup pic.twitter.com/FobNmEqQxk— ASH (@ASH_LDN) February 3, 2016
What larks, eh?

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American Lung Association Gives Middle Finger to Vapers Who Have Quit or are Trying to Quit Smoking

Published on 2016-02-04 13:25:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


According to a statement published by the American Lung Association (ALA): "the Lung Association does not support using them for cessation, nor does it support any direct or implied claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit."

Elsewhere, the ALA states: "The American Lung Association is troubled about unproven claims that e-cigarettes can be used to help smokers quit."

Full article

Garbage in, garbage out

Published on 2016-02-04 12:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Heart miracles are once more in the news. This story, for instance, is on the front page of the Telegraph...

Smoking ban sees 40 per cent cut in heart attacks in UK since 2007 law was introduced
Heart attack rates in the UK have fallen by up to 42 per cent since the 2007 smoking ban, major research suggests.

A review of 77 studies found that reduced exposure to passive smoking has caused a “significant reduction” in heart problems across the population.

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"Un « bouclier de la vie privée » en Europe : en carton ou en vrai ?"

Published on 2016-02-04 03:05:49.
Website: Accueil


(ATS) "Transfert des données avec les Etats-Unis examiné

"Les autorités européennes de protection des données personnelles ont salué mercredi l'accord entre l'UE et les Etats-Unis sur les transferts de données. Elles ont demandé des précisions rapides sur son contenu pour évaluer sa conformité à la jurisprudence européenne.

"L'"accord politique" annoncé mardi par l'exécutif européen concerne les transferts transatlantiques de données personnelles d'Européens. Il est censé mettre fin à l'insécurité juridique dans laquelle sont plongées les milliers d'entreprises y recourant quotidiennement.

"La Cour de justice de l'UE a en effet invalidé en octobre dernier le cadre juridique existant depuis 15 ans, connu sous le nom de "Safe Harbor". Elle a estimé qu'il n'offrait pas de garanties suffisantes pour la confidentialité des données transférées aux Etats-Unis, compte tenu notamment des pratiques du renseignement américain."

Full article

Should We Lie Like Tobacco Controllers?

Published on 2016-02-03 20:50:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Regular readers will remember that the campaign in favour of plain packaging by tax spongers in the highly state-funded tobacco control industry Goliath was a truly astounding display of mendacity and corruption.

The level of cheating, chicanery, political manipulation and blatant, unapologetic, provable lies was quite simply off the scale, as I described in 2014.
The often fraudulent abuses of process, democracy and common decency are too numerous to list in full, but just to remind you of a few highlights: Attempting to rig the consultation; producing literature containing bald-faced lies to MPs; enthusiastically encouraging corrupt multiple signatures; and attempting to influence government to exclude any consultation responses they disagreed with and then trying to hide the evidence. Along with inviting two zealous supporters of plain packaging to review the evidence, including a far-left lunatic who simply despises marketing of any product, before producing an impact assessment document which the Regulatory Policy Committee rightly considered shoddy. This without mentioning shovelling taxpayer cash to vested interests to lobby government with, making demonstrably false claims, and blatantly misrepresenting the results of their own research.In fact, the lies are still continuing on the subject to this day. It's just what tobacco controllers do. They lie. In the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening. Heck, I reckon they even dream about lying.

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Whatever happens, we've won

Published on 2016-02-03 17:43:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Sally Davies has been giving some more advice to drinkers (at a parliamentary committee meeting yesterday):

"I would like people to make their choice knowing the issues and do as I do when I reach for my glass of wine and think, 'Do I want my glass of wine or do I want to raise my risk of breast cancer?'. And I take a decision each time I have a glass."
If that's how she wants to see out her miserable existence, she's welcome to it. I've written a piece for the Spectator in which I argue that she can throw as many taxes and bans at us as she likes. She thinks about cancer whenever she sees a glass of wine. We don't, so we win.

Full article

More on Failed Disclosures: Even Former Tobacco Industry-Funded Scientists Disclose their Past History of Financial Conflicts

Published on 2016-02-02 13:57:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In 2014, Dr. Roger Jenkins was co-author of an article published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology on acute cardiovascular reactions to inhaled particles. The study tested exposures to a variety of pollutants, including tobacco smoke. This journal uses the ICJME conflict of interest disclosure form (similar to that used by JAMA).

Background Information: Dr. Jenkins officially retired in 2004 from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he conducted research that was funded, in part, by tobacco companies. Until 2008, he served as an expert witness to the tobacco industry. However, during the five years prior to publication of this article, he did not testify in litigation and was no longer employed at Oak Ridge. Thus, he had no personal conflicts of interest for the past five years.

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The race is on

Published on 2016-02-02 12:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As reported just before Christmas, the European Court of Justice has ruled that minimum pricing is illegal if other anti-drinking measures would be (a) more effective and (b) less disruptive to trade. The court strongly suggested that alcohol tax rises would be more effective in achieving the Scottish government's stated aims of addressing heavy drinking and reducing alcohol consumption across the population.

The Scottish government and its front groups (eg. Alcohol Focus Scotland) are on a sticky wicket here because one of the bugs (or is a feature?) of minimum pricing is that it will have the least effect on the rich. Since the rich tend to be the heaviest drinkers, it is hard to argue that minimum pricing is more effective than alcohol duty rises in discouraging heavy drinking, nor is it the best way to reduce alcohol consumption across the whole population.

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Wartime Giants

Published on 2016-02-01 21:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


When I was a small child in the early to mid-1970s we Puddlecotes used to spend alternate Sunday afternoons at my Nan and Grandad's council maisonette in south London.

After eating a slap up roast beef dinner complete with mushy cauliflower, butter beans, and a Yorkshire pudding cooked in a flan dish and weighing the equivalent of a small dog due to the fat that went into it (but boy was it gorgeous), we'd sit around watching The Big Match on ITV while Grandad alternated between telling us the score before each featured game and telling me precisely which dominoes I had in my hand. He was a lathe operator by trade but a truly gifted mathematician who ran the shop floor's complicated pools syndicate and was capable of working out the returns from an each way yankee in his head. 

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