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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.

Twelve Years Of Hurt

Published on 2019-12-15 12:07:37.
Website: Frank Davis


Why was it that, 50 years after voting to join the European Economic Community (EEC), the British voted to leave it (and decisively voted twice)? One obvious answer is that the EEC had metamorphosed into the EU – a quite … Continue reading →

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Massachusetts DPH Destroys Its Own Justification for the Emergency E-Cigarette Ban

Published on 2019-12-13 14:27:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), via a vote by the Public Health Council, has rescinded its emergency ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes which was issued on September 25. When the ban was implemented in September, the Department's rationale was that since we don't know what is causing the outbreak, there may be e-cigarettes that could be involved. Therefore, to protect the public's health, we need to ban the sale of e-cigarettes.

In rescinding the emergency order, DPH stated that the cause of the outbreak remains unknown. So by its own rationale which it invoked on September 25, there could still be e-cigarettes causing the outbreak and therefore we need to continue to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to protect the public's health.

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A Little Wishful Thinking

Published on 2019-12-13 11:51:46.
Website: Frank Davis


I’m not surprised Boris won a majority. I’m just a bit surprised how big it looks set to be (currently 79). I thought Jeremy Corbyn was unelectable in the same way as Michael Foot in the 1980s. Nigel Farage: …asked … Continue reading →

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The Height of Irresponsibility: Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tells Public the Cause of Respiratory Disease Outbreak is Unknown

Published on 2019-12-12 13:36:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) proclaimed to residents of the Commonwealth that it has no idea what is causing the outbreak of respiratory illness that has affected more than 2,000 people and killed 47 throughout the country.

The proclamation came on a day when the Public Health Council voted to rescind the emergency order that banned the sale of all e-cigarettes in the state.

According to an article in Boston Magazine, the Department of Public Health told reporters: "We don’t understand what is causing these illnesses. From a public health point of view, we cannot recommend that anybody use vaping or e-cigarette products at this time."

Full article

The Wound That Never Heals

Published on 2019-12-12 12:03:56.
Website: Frank Davis


Finally. It’s over. I never really had any interest in this election anyway. Why should I be interested? It’s not as if there’s any party that’s proposing to repeal, or even slightly relax, the UK smoking ban. And that’s really … Continue reading →

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A New Diaspora

Published on 2019-12-11 11:51:00.
Website: Frank Davis


Very arguably the smokers of the world are – or are in process of becoming – members of one of the world’s great religions. There are probably a billion or more smokers in the world, and that number matches any … Continue reading →

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White Island Tourist Ban Next?

Published on 2019-12-10 10:51:10.
Website: Frank Davis


There seems to have been something for everyone in the IG report that came out yesterday. But AG Barr took a different view: Attorney General William Barr, meanwhile, says that the report “now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of … Continue reading →

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Obesity in England: just the facts

Published on 2019-12-10 10:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Health Survey for England was published last week, with the latest obesity statistics (for 2018). It didn't receive much media coverage, presumably because there wasn't anything particularly newsworthy in it, but here's a summary for those who are interested.

The rate of adult obesity was down slightly in 2018 - to 27.7% - after a jump in 2017 that always looked like a statistical blip (from 26.2% to 28.7%). Bear in mind that these are only estimates based on a sample and so there is a margin of error. Rates fluctuate from year to year, but on average there has been a rise of two or three percentage points in the last ten years.

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Outbreak of Salmonella Poisoning from Contaminated Vegetables in Massachusetts But DPH Refuses to Release Data on Which Products are Involved and Where They Were Purchased

Published on 2019-12-09 14:43:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Despite an outbreak of vegetable-associated Salmonella poisoning linked to products sold at Massachusetts restaurants that has affected 90 Massachusetts residents and resulted in three deaths, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is refusing to release any information on the restaurants at which the patients ate or the exact products they consumed. The Department has revealed only that the outbreak is associated with "vegetable products" and that some of the patients reported having eaten vegetables at restaurants in the Commonwealth.

The Department of Public Health is not even telling the restaurant owners themselves that their products may have been implicated in the outbreak. There have been 90 confirmed and probable cases of Salmonella poisoning. According to DPH, the only thing that links all the cases is that they all reported eating vegetables. However, DPH has not released information on how many of the patients reported eating vegetables at restaurants and how many purchased their vegetables off the unregulated black market, such as the many "farmers' markets" that are held weekly in cities across the Commonwealth.

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Can we attribute 36% of premature deaths to "socioeconomic inequality"?

Published on 2019-12-08 13:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The last issue of the Lancet before the election contains a study looking at the association between deprivation and health. It concluded that...

One in three premature deaths are attributable to socioeconomic inequality, making this our most important public health challenge. 
On Twitter, the study's lead author went further, saying that a third of premature deaths could be avoided if society was 'fairer'...

(1/8) Wealth and poverty affect your health and risk of early death - that’s well-known. We measured the total scale of this inequality in England. 1/3 premature deaths could be avoided in a fairer society – our new paper in @LancetPH https://t.co/uzFxvx23Hj— Dan Lewer (@danlewer) December 6, 2019  

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American Lung Association's Lies About E-Cigarettes are Dangerous and Irresponsible

Published on 2019-12-05 14:05:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Earlier this week, I revealed that, ironically, in a campaign attacking e-cigarette companies for lying to the public, the American Heart Association was itself lying to the public by asserting that e-cigarettes cannot help smokers quit.

Today I reveal that, not to be outdone, the American Lung Association is lying even more blatantly to the public and in a way that is not only irresponsible but dangerous for the public's health.

In a press release issued yesterday, the American Lung Association made the following claims:

Full article

Nattering about the Nanny State on Newsnight

Published on 2019-12-05 12:31:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Courtesy of Dick
Last night, Newsnight got four people together to discuss the issues that they think are being overlooked in the election campaign. I was one of them and the topic I picked was (you guessed it) the nanny state, using the Nanny State Index as the hook.

Full article

The BBC is lying about alcohol-related deaths

Published on 2019-12-04 10:17:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Perhaps it was too much to hope the media to report the news that alcohol-related deaths rose in Scotland last year while they fell in England and Wales, but I didn't expect the BBC to flat out lie about it.

Almost unbelievably, the BBC's story is headlined...


Alcohol death rates dropping in Scotland

What?! This is Pravda level stuff.

Death rates caused by alcohol have dropped in Scotland in the past 10 years, according to new figures. 

Full article

Alcohol-related deaths down in England, up in Scotland

Published on 2019-12-03 12:02:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


More bad news for minimum pricing advocates today. The Office for National Statistics has published its first data set for alcohol-related mortality since minimum pricing was introduced in Scotland.

Regular readers will know that the number of alcohol-related deaths rose (by 16) in Scotland in 2018. Almost nobody else knows this because no media outlet bothered to report it, despite the figures being officially published in June.

Full article

Massachusetts State Health Department is Completely Irresponsible in Hiding the Cause of Vaping-Associated Respiratory Illness

Published on 2019-12-02 17:54:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The Department of Public Health's Silence is Putting the Lives of the State's Youth at Risk

I was startled this morning to read what the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is currently telling the public about the vaping-associated respiratory illness outbreak that has affected more than 2,000 people and resulted in 47 deaths. This information appears on the emergency web page that the Department has created , entitled "Vaping Public Health Emergency."

There are three critical pieces of information provided regarding the outbreak. 

Full article

Shooting the medium - the Lancet versus #yes2meat

Published on 2019-12-02 12:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Remember the EAT-Lancet diet that was promoted at great expense by the billionaire couple Gunhild and Petter Stordalen in January? It called for people to restrict themselves to portions of meat, eggs and dairy that make a WWII ration look like a feast. And the 'public health' lobby wanted to use government coercion to make it happen.

Full article

Bad predictions as political weapons

Published on 2019-11-29 12:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


When Iain Duncan Smith’s office was vandalised this week, certain apologists from the far-left argued that the crime was partially, if not wholly, mitigated by the Tories’ alleged murder of 120,000 people. The murder weapon was ‘austerity’ and the evidence is in a paper from BMJ Open in 2017. The idea that austerity took 120,000 lives has become a proven fact in some quarters. The evidence itself is less compelling. The authors of the BMJ Open study note that improvements in life expectancy slowed between 2012 and 2014, at a time when increases in healthcare spending also slowed. The estimate of 120,000 lives comes from their extrapolation of how many fewer deaths there would have been between 2010 and 2017 had mortality continued to decline at the earlier rate, and assumes that the slowing of life expectancy (which was observed in many other countries at the same time) was due to spending constraints rather than other factors.   

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New York City: Where You Can Get Cigarettes at Every Corner Store But There's Not an E-Cigarette to Be Found

Published on 2019-11-27 17:14:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The New York City Council yesterday passed a law that bans the sale of all e-cigarettes, with the sole exception of tobacco-flavored ones, but allows cigarettes - including menthol-flavored brands - to continue to be sold at any gas station, convenience store, or other retail store in the city.

On the heels of the New York City ban, the governor of Massachusetts today signed a law that bans the sale of all e-cigarettes in the state, with the sole exception of tobacco-flavored ones, but allows cigarettes to continue to be sold at any gas station, convenience store, or other retail store in the state.

Full article

More Evidence that Vitamin E Acetate Oil, Not E-Cigarettes, Is the Cause of the Respiratory Disease Outbreak

Published on 2019-11-27 00:52:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


A new study published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the weekly MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) bolsters the evidence that vitamin E acetate oil, rather than e-cigarettes, is causing the "vaping-associated" respiratory illness.

The study reports the results of laboratory testing conducted in the state of Minnesota, where 96 confirmed cases occurred through October 31. Here are the critical findings:

1. Of 58 patients interviewed, 53 (91%) reported the use of black market THC vape carts. A total of 14 reported using CBD products, of whom 11 stated that they used CBD products with illicit THC. Only 2 of the patients reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.

Full article

Why E-Cigarette Flavor Bans are Misguided: The Flavor's Not the Problem, It's the Nicotine Salts

Published on 2019-11-26 14:26:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The obsession of policy makers, politicians, and health groups on banning flavored e-cigarettes as a solution to the youth vaping epidemic is misguided and is detracting attention from the real issue: the use of nicotine salts that have greatly increased the addiction potential of e-cigarettes.

Prior to the introduction of JUUL, three-fourths (74%) of nonsmoking youth e-cigarette users reported using e-cigarettes no more than about once a week and only 4% used them every day, a sure sign of addiction. But by 2018, 12% of nonsmoking youth vapers used e-cigarettes every day, a tripling of the percentage of youth e-cigarette users who were addicted, and less than half (42%) of non-smoking youth e-cigarette users only used them less than once a week. 

Full article

Norway's sugar tax flop

Published on 2019-11-26 11:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Imagine the government raising the cost of living so much that it's cheaper to go shopping in Sweden. That's the situation Norwegians find themselves in...

Norwegian sugar tax sends sweet-lovers over border to Sweden
It seems unfair to call it a sweet shop. In the shopping centre north of Charlottenberg in south-western Sweden, barely four miles from Norway and less than 90 minutes’ drive from Oslo, is a candy superstore.

Arrayed across 3,500 sq metres of floor space – half a football pitch – are aisle upon aisle of sugary treats, more than 4,000 products in all, from sour strawberries, liquorice laces and fruity gumballs to red rockets, Lion bars, M&Ms, Milky Ways and Oreos.

Full article

Oregon State Health Department Claims that Nicotine-Based E-Cigarettes are Causing Respiratory Disease Outbreak

Published on 2019-11-25 14:04:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


In an op-ed piece published yesterday in the Oregonian, the Oregon state health department claims that a substantial proportion of cases of the vaping-associated respiratory illness outbreak are caused not by THC/CBD vaping, but by nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes. The piece claims that: "we can say the hospitalizations and deaths are not exclusively attributable to cannabis use."

This is very different from claiming that we do not yet know definitively whether some nicotine-containing e-liquids are causing the illness. Instead, the statement claims that we do know that many cases are being caused by electronic cigarettes.

Full article

2019 manifestos - where do the parties stand on the nanny state?

Published on 2019-11-25 10:54:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


With an election looming, I have been through all the party manifestos looking for nanny statism. As has become traditional, the lowlights and rankings are below.

The Green Party

The Greens name 'ending the war on drugs' as one of their priorities. They say they will...

Repeal the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016
And...

Replace the current system of prohibition with an evidence-based, legalised, regulated system of drug control. The production, import and supply of all drugs will be regulated according to the specific risks that they pose to the individual, to society and to the environment

Full article

Massive Irony: American Heart Association is Lying to the Public in a Campaign Attacking E-Cigarette Companies for Lying

Published on 2019-11-24 17:12:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The American Heart Association has unveiled a new campaign which uses the hashtag #QuitLying and the website quitlying.org. The campaign is directed against "Big Vape" and it attacks e-cigarette companies for lying to the public. Among the lies that the American Heart Association claims e-cigarette companies are making are:

(1) that vaping is different than smoking; and

(2) that e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit smoking.

They claim that the lying on the part of e-cigarette companies is "leading more people to smoking" and has "landed hundreds of e-cigarette users in hospitals."

Full article

My Testimony Today Regarding the Massachusetts Emergency Ban on the Sale of Electronic Cigarettes

Published on 2019-11-22 19:11:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary



Testimony of Michael Siegel, MD, MPHProfessor, Boston University School of Public HealthNovember 22, 2019
The Department of Public Health justified its emergency order by arguing that removing vaping products from the market would protect the public – and especially youth – from the vaping-associated respiratory disease outbreak that has now affected more than 2,000 people and caused 47 deaths. However, unbeknownst to many, this emergency order was not successful in removing all vaping products from the market. In fact, the Department’s emergency order exempted – and therefore failed to remove from the market - a large number of flavored e-liquid products that are highly popular among youth and which Massachusetts youth continue to use, despite the emergency order. These flavored e-liquids are used by 63% of youth who vape regularly. Unfortunately, all of the following flavors are exempt from the ban and remain on the market today throughout the Commonwealth, easily accessible to youth.

Full article

Case of Popcorn Lung in Canada Due to E-Cigarettes? Not so Fast

Published on 2019-11-22 17:19:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


It is being widely reported in the media that there was recently a case of "popcorn lung" in Canada that was due to the use of e-cigarettes. These reports are exaggerated and inaccurate representations of a medical journal article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The article reports the case of a 17-year-old patient who presented with severe respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. A chest CT scan revealed a "bud-in-tree" pattern which is consistent with a diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Because the study authors had heard that some e-liquids contain a flavoring called diacetyl, which has linked to popcorn lung disease in popcorn factory workers who were exposed to very high doses of the pure chemical, they speculated that this could be a case of popcorn lung attributable to the use of e-cigarettes.

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House Lawmakers Decide Not to Tackle Respiratory Disease Outbreak: They Decide to Let More Kids Get Sick in Order to Protect a $2.5 Billion Illegal Industry

Published on 2019-11-22 00:49:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


With more than 2,000 cases of severe respiratory failure--mostly among youth and young adults--and 42 deaths resulting from vaping-associated respiratory illness, one might expect that the House Energy and Commerce Committee would have done something to help curtail this outbreak when it voted yesterday on legislation to address the youth vaping crisis.

While this week's newspaper headlines provided some information about the Committee's actions on the proposed youth vaping legislation--for example, that the bill, which bans e-cigarette flavors other than tobacco, passed by a 28-24 vote--those headlines only tell part of the story.

Full article

Is the USA coming to its senses on e-cigarettes (and cigarettes)?

Published on 2019-11-21 10:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



After an insane few months, there are signs that the USA is coming to its senses...

President Donald Trump has reversed plans to ban flavoured e-cigarettes amid a national youth vaping crisis, US media report.
He announced plans for a ban in September, but reportedly decided not to enact it this month because of possible job losses and voter pushback.

Full article

Massachusetts State Senate Votes to Ban Almost All E-Cigarettes, But to Leave the Real Deadly Ones on the Shelves

Published on 2019-11-21 03:24:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


In a move that defies public health logic, the Massachusetts Senate today voted for a bill that would ban the sale of virtually all e-cigarettes, but would allow non-mentholated real cigarette brands to remain on the shelves of all stores, including convenience stores and gas stations where youth have easy access to these products.

There is simply no public health justification for taking e-cigarettes off the market but allowing youth to continue to have unfettered access to real tobacco products. The average annual death toll of these products is starkly different:

Flavored e-cigarettes: 0

Full article

Massachusetts Senate Uses a Big Tobacco Tactic: Votes Not to Allocate Master Settlement Agreement Money to Smoking Prevention and Cessation; In that Light, the Flavor Ban is Disingenuous

Published on 2019-11-21 00:59:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Anyone who thought the Massachusetts state Senate's probable passage of a bill tonight that will ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and menthol tobacco cigarettes is motivated by a pure desire to protect kids and reduce tobacco-related diseases is mistaken. The supporters of this legislation showed their true colors tonight by rejecting an amendment that would have required that the state allocate a mere 10% of the money it receives from the Master Settlement Agreement to smoking prevention and cessation programs.

It was quite a sight to witness. Senator after senator got up and spoke about how terrible smoking is and how we have to protect kids from tobacco and nicotine and fight Big Tobacco and their devious tactics.

Full article

American Medical Association Calls for Removal of the Main Competitors to Cigarettes from the Market

Published on 2019-11-20 02:38:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


In a resolution that is the most dangerous health-related policy proposal from a medical or health organization that I have seen in my career, the American Medical Association (AMA) today called for the complete removal from the market of the #1 competitor to Big Tobacco profits. The resolution also calls for hundreds of thousands of ex-smokers to return to smoking and for the removal from the market of a critical off-ramp that has helped 2.5 million American smokers to quit for good. In addition, the resolution calls for the creation of a dangerous new black market for e-cigarettes and e-liquids.

Full article

American Heart Association Urges Parents to Lie to Their Kids About E-Cigarettes and Not to Answer their Questions

Published on 2019-11-16 21:39:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


It has been well established that using e-cigarettes is far safer than smoking. Clinical studies show that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes experience immediate and dramatic improvement in both their lung function and in their cardiovascular function. They also experience a dramatic reduction in levels of chemical toxins. Any parent who suggests to their kids that e-cigarettes are as dangerous as real cigarettes is lying.

However, this fact has not stopped the American Heart Association from urging parents to hide from their kids this important factual information. The American Heart Association actually recommends that if your kid asks you whether e-cigarettes are any safer than tobacco cigarettes, you not answer the question directly but immediately divert attention to the fact that nicotine will harm their brain and that their e-cigarette battery might explode and kill them.

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