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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.

New Weapons for New Wars

Published on 2017-07-22 11:28:30.
Website: Frank Davis


In their own eyes, I’m sure that antismoking zealots think they’re doing good, and making the world a better place. They think the world would be a better place without tobacco. They think people would live longer and healthier lives … Continue reading →

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Only following orders

Published on 2017-07-22 11:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



You've probably read about the five year old lemonade criminal of Tower Hamlets. She was selling lemonade outside her house on a sunny day, as children do, when four 'enforcement officers' charged her with trading without a licence and issued a £150 fine.

Tower Hamlets council have since cancelled the fine and apologised to the family, saying:

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Completely Out Of Control

Published on 2017-07-21 11:17:37.
Website: Frank Davis


One thing that strikes me about Tobacco Control, and their attempt to take control, is just how out of control everything actually is. After all, we’re all living on the surface of a little, spinning, roughly-spherical planet which is in … Continue reading →

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The case against The Case Against Sugar

Published on 2017-07-21 09:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


UPDATE: The blog mentioned below has been suspended by WordPress. Let's hope this is just a strange coincidence.

Nobody does a forensic fact-checking like Seth Yoder at the Science of Nutrition blog. If you're interested in the low carb/high fat fad, his extensive reviews of Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories and Nina Teicholz's The Big Fat Surprise are must-reads (you can also read my briefer review of the latter here).

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Snusgate: the movie

Published on 2017-07-20 11:29:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist




You may recall the scandal around the former EU health commissioner John Dalli who was sacked after being accused of being involved in an attempt to solicit a bribe from the snus company Swedish Match and subsequently exposed for some strange shenanigans in the Bahamas. Dalli was vigorously defended by 'public health' groups at the time and Private Eye made the ill-judged decision to take his side on a couple of occasions.

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My Custard Control Plan

Published on 2017-07-20 11:08:39.
Website: Frank Davis


It seems that the UK government has published a new Tobacco Control Plan. I’ve not read it. But Chris Snowdon seems to have read it, and hasn’t entirely panned it. It seems that the government may, as a direct consequence … Continue reading →

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"Get Him Off The Island, Export The Problem"

Published on 2017-07-19 17:37:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



Over the years, I've written a fair amount about John Dalli, the former Maltese EU health commissioner who was sacked over an allegation that he solicited bribes from Swedish Match to overturn the snus ban. The whole affair was very murky (you can read my articles about it here) and was never fully resolved, but the BBC have just aired a programme that investigates the case by talking to Dalli himself.

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Fooled Again

Published on 2017-07-19 10:01:26.
Website: Frank Davis


Fooled again. Last night I turned off all my computers, and physically disconnected them from both the electricity main and the telephone line. I pulled the plugs out of the wall. I didn’t want to pull dead microprocessor chips out … Continue reading →

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200,000 hypothetical children

Published on 2017-07-19 09:02:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


When the plain packaging idiocy was first mooted in 2008, we were told:

More than 200,000 under-16s start smoking each year
In 2010, this statistic was officially endorsed (but not referenced) in the government's Tobacco Control Strategy:

Each year in England, an estimated 200,000 children and young people start smoking

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Order In The Popcorn For The North West

Published on 2017-07-18 19:49:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



So, the UK government's tobacco control plan (TCP) was finally published today. I've had a read of it and was going to write a few words about the whole thing but I'd instead direct you to Snowdon for an overall critique, and NNA for a short but sweet viewpoint of the vaping elements.

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The Tobacco Plan: too much stick, not enough carrot

Published on 2017-07-18 12:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The government has published its new Tobacco Control Plan for England. This will come as a relief to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) who have been waiting 18 months for a justification for their taxpayer subsidy.

The government has set an entirely arbitrary target of reducing smoking prevalence to 12 per cent by 2022. It has no way of doing this. Britain is still a nominally free country and people can choose to smoke if they want to, albeit within the constraints of extortionate taxes and a draconian smoking ban.

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A Woman in a Miniskirt

Published on 2017-07-18 10:15:43.
Website: Frank Davis


Not sure what interested me about this story of a woman in a miniskirt walking along an empty road: Apparently, it “caused a stir in Saudi Arabia.” In another report, it had “sparked outrage in Saudi Arabia.” And next it … Continue reading →

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"Who speaks for smokers in our government?"

Published on 2017-07-18 09:23:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Guardian has been running a lot of stories about tobacco in the last few days. I'm not sure what the occasion is. Perhaps there is an announcement on the way? [UPDATE: It seems there was!]

I say that they've been writing about tobacco. In fact, they've only been writing about the tobacco industry. For the last twenty years, this has been the only part of the story that really interests journalists. This suits the anti-smoking lobby because it allows them to present their war on people as a war on corporations.

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Evidence, Did You Say?

Published on 2017-07-17 17:31:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


For curiosity, here's a Guardian article from 2015:
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of charity Action on Smoking and Health, said there was no evidence to support claims that depriving prisoners of tobacco could lead to riots.Oh really?
Inmates are rioting over a new smoking ban in prisonsInmates are staging riots over a new Government ban on smoking in prisons, which is seeing tobacco steadily phased out. A ban on tobacco cigarettes is now being slowly introduced into prisons, with several jails already having banned them outright. Others, meanwhile, are preparing to be completely smoke-free by September. One recent inmate of Drake Hall Women’s Prison told Metro.co.uk that she was dismayed to see how the smoking ban had changed the atmosphere in the jail. She said: ‘We got all the leaflets about how the ban was going to happen – first the shop would stop selling tobacco, and then the total ban would come in.‘Within the first week of the shop stopping selling it there was a riot. Loads of prisoners refused to go back to their cells and it was mayhem. ‘There were women screaming and shouting, sitting on the roofs of blocks. After it calmed down a lot of those involved were transferred, probably to prisons where they can smoke.Well there is now, Debs. And the ban hasn't even started properly yet!

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Cowardice In The Face Of Bravery

Published on 2017-07-15 15:58:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I have consistently said on these pages - since around 2010 - that e-cigs have the potential to show up the cant and oleaginous hypocrisy of the tobacco control industry. There have been numerous examples of this over the years but a spectacular episode this week in Australia has left all others in the shade.

As Snowdon has remarked, so exasperated are Australia's tobacco control extremists at the relentless advance of vaping, that they have now taken to slandering ordinary vapers and implying they are - every single of them - nothing but shills for the tobacco industry.

Full article

The National Death Service

Published on 2017-07-15 10:29:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The NHS is great unless you want to stay alive, according to a new report. I've written about it for the Speccie.

The Commonwealth Fund is a US think tank that campaigns for reform to the American healthcare system. In particular, it wants the US to adopt the kind of universal healthcare coverage that is taken for granted in Britain and Europe.
Every few years, it puts the healthcare systems of eleven rich countries into a league table and the USA always come bottom. Fans of the NHS (may peace be upon it) like these reports because the UK always come at or near the top. The latest Commonwealth Fund study was published today and Britain came top again. In your face, Australia! Suck it up, Sweden!

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IN MY VIEW: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is Deliberately Lying to the Public

Published on 2017-07-13 12:53:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In a press release issued yesterday lamenting the passage by the House Appropriations Committee of a bill that grandfathers in existing e-cigarettes from the pre-market approval requirements of FDA vaping product regulations, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids claimed that the bill strips the FDA of authority to review the public health impact of e-cigarettes.

Specifically, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated that the bill:

"would “grandfather” e-cigarettes and cigars already on the market and exempt them from FDA review of their public health impact, including whether they appeal to kids." 

Full article

Slandering vapers

Published on 2017-07-13 12:21:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


New Zealand is in the process of repealing its ban on e-cigarettes. In the past year, Finland, Hungary, Sweden, Belgium and Denmark have all legalised the sale of vaping devices and fluids. Every EU country now allows the sale of these products.

Once New Zealand has legalised e-cigarettes, Australia will be the only developed, western nation to have maintained its prohibition. The tide has turned and Australia looks increasingly like a backwater.

Judging by the words of the Australian Medical Association, that's the way they like it. Here's their president speaking yesterday - that's yesterday, please note, not in 2009:

Full article

IN MY VIEW: Position of Australian Medical Association (and Many U.S. Health Groups) on Vaping is Just Plain Evil

Published on 2017-07-11 13:15:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In a submission to the Australian government, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) argues that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit, that e-cigarettes are harmful to health because they simply substitute one addiction for another, and that physicians must fight to prevent vaping from becoming an acceptable alternative to smoking.

According to an article published by the Australian Journal of Pharmacy: "Commenting on its submission to an inquiry into the devices, the AMA says it believes that there is currently no compelling evidence that e-cigarettes are successful in helping people to stop smoking. ... AMA President Dr Michael Gannon says that the growth in e-cigarette products internationally has provided sections of the tobacco industry with the opportunity to rebrand themselves as part of the effort to reduce smoking – but there is no evidence that e-cigarettes work as a deterrent. ... “E-cigarettes must not be allowed to be marketed with claims that they are a smoking cessation aid,” Dr Gannon says. “There is no such evidence. ... “We must not allow e-cigarettes to become a socially acceptable alternative to smoking.”"

Full article

Shopping basket cases

Published on 2017-07-11 08:43:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist




The latest gormless idea from 'public health' appeared in the newspapers over the weekend.

The plan is to take the red, amber and green ‘traffic-lights’ system commonly used on food packaging one step further and grade the full contents of a basket or trolley for calories, sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt, then print the results on the receipt. 

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Book reviews: The Angry Chef and The Pioppi Diet

Published on 2017-07-09 11:06:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Two very different books were published on June 29th. One is a solid debunking of nutritional fads and junk science. The other is a nutritional fad based on junk science. I have reviewed them both for Spectator Health. Do have a read...

The Angry Chef by Anthony Warner

The Pioppi Diet by Aseem Malhotra and Donal O'Neill

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WATCH: Prohibitionists Always Lose

Published on 2017-07-06 20:33:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Christ! I have so much to write but so little time to do so. My calendar for the next week looks packed so there may be very little on these pages for a while, but here's something I can thoroughly recommend.

While in Warsaw at GFN last month, the keynote speaker was Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. He has worked for a very long time in the field of harm reduction in relation to illicit drugs so his expertise is very much transferable to the tobacco and nicotine debate.

Full article

NIAAA Prostitutes Its Scientific Integrity and Helps Alcohol Industry Promote Drinking

Published on 2017-07-06 01:00:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In one of the greatest episodes of corruption of a U.S. governmental health agency during my career, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has sold itself out to the alcohol industry by agreeing to accept $68 million for a shoddily-designed study intended to examine the potential health benefits of moderate drinking but without similarly assessing the potential risks.

According to the New York Times: "the National Institutes of Health is starting a $100 million clinical trial to test for the first time whether a drink a day really does prevent heart attacks. And guess who is picking up most of the tab? Five companies that are among the world’s largest alcoholic beverage manufacturers — Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Carlsberg — have so far pledged $67.7 million to a foundation that raises money for the National Institutes of Health, said Margaret Murray, the director of the Global Alcohol Research Program at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which will oversee the study."

Full article

Prohibition news: Bhutan edition

Published on 2017-07-05 15:47:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Unless you count the so-called Islamic State, only one country in the world has a ban on tobacco sales. Starting in January 2011, Bhutan experimented with prohibition and started throwing people in jail for possession.

The ban was passed in 2004, but was not toughened up until later. At the time, the Lancet cheered on the self-styled happiest nation in the world, saying: 'That is what we call progress' and predicted that 'the tobacco-free age is just around the corner.'

Bhutan was already considered one of the blue-eyed eyes boys of 'public health' in 2003 and had already received the a WHO commendation as Tobacco Control reported...

Under the vibrant leadership and guidance of the Minister of Health and Education these campaigns paved the way for a coordinated and multi-sectoral initiative for tobacco control activities in the country. His Excellency’s initiatives in the area of tobacco control have already been recognised by WHO. 
We have seen before that congratulations from the WHO on anti-smoking activity can be a curse and so it was in Bhutan. Full prohibition was introduced in 2011 and - who would have guessed?! - it didn't work out so well. A study published that year found...

'... a thriving black market and significant and increasing tobacco smuggling

Full article

Legalise vaping in Australia

Published on 2017-07-04 23:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It is currently illegal to sell nicotine-containing e-cigarette fluid in Australia. This is clearly illiberal and is also bad for the health of consumers who would prefer to switch.

The Australian government has finally got round to holding a public consultation on getting rid of this silly law (which predates the emergence of vaping).

If you are an Australian citizen, you can use this website to respond to the consultation. Please do - and keep it clean! It closes on Thursday so make haste.


PS. If you are outside Australia and wish to respond, use this link.

Full article

Final thoughts on the smoking ban

Published on 2017-07-04 10:44:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As several bloggers have noted, the smoking ban anniversary passed relatively quietly. Aside from a fake statistic from Public Health England, no fresh junk science was released. The BBC put as positive a spin on it as they could and ASH announced that the smoking rate had fallen in the last ten years, implying that this was due to the smoking ban. It was not, of course. There was no decline after the smoking ban and the drop in smoking prevalence since 2012 is mostly attributable to vaping.

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ASH's 10th Anniversary Begging Letter

Published on 2017-07-03 19:51:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


As others have noted, the 10th anniversary of the most spiteful and damaging social engineering exercise England has ever seen - otherwise known as the smoking ban - slid past with surprisingly little fanfare from the tax-spongers in tobacco control. What there was of it, though, was mendacious cobblers as is to be expected.

What I found most curious, though, was the strange approach taken by ASH. Instead of relying on the reams of execrable and scientifically worthless junk research they and their pals routinely peddle, they chose instead to release a strange report referring to polls they have commissioned over the years from YouGov.

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Where Were The Vapers?

Published on 2017-06-30 13:48:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I find this truly staggering from ASH. They had a stall this week at The Chartered Trading Standards Institute conference and were giving out information about e-cigs. So who did they invite to do it?

We're having a great time at #CTSIConf! Today we have @breathe2025 joining us to discuss e-cigarettes - come find us at F7. @ctsi_uk pic.twitter.com/JAiDr1cqCB— ASH (@ASH_LDN) June 27, 2017

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Myths and realities of the smoking ban - 10 years on

Published on 2017-06-29 14:16:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In July 2007, a smoking ban was introduced in all enclosed 'public' places - bars, restaurants, railway platforms and workplaces - in England. Three months later, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) issued a fact sheet titled 'As the Smoke Clears: Myths and Reality of Smokefree England'. Before the ban, ASH consistently dismissed evidence from Ireland and the US that smoke-free legislation damages the hospitality trade. In this document, they asserted that it was all a lie.

When the ASH fact sheet was released, the smoking ban had barely been in force for 100 days and pub chains and bingo operators had not yet announced their end-of-year accounts. Nor had the cold winter months arrived. There was, however, mounting anecdotal evidence of pubs and bingo halls suffering immediate hardship.

Full article

Nothing changes

Published on 2017-06-29 08:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Sign outside a bar somewhere in the USA, circa 2008...


Sign outside a bar somewhere in the Czech Republic, June 2017 (a few weeks after the smoking ban began)...



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"This Lobby Is Impossible To Satisfy"

Published on 2017-06-28 18:42:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


In 2007, a staff member at Puddlecote Inc who smokes commented on the inception of the smoking ban by saying "ASH may as well pack up now, they have everything they want". I replied that they will never stop because if they did it would threaten the most precious thing to them ... their salary.

You see, their industry can never be satisfied as long as there are grants to be claimed, as our esteemed mascot once expressed perfectly in parliament.
The problem, however, as with all these matters, is that the report panders to the zealots in society who are never satisfied. I guarantee that if all the recommendations were introduced, Committee members would, within a few months at most, come back with further recommendations because the previous ones had not gone far enough. This lobby is impossible to satisfy.If you needed any further proof, here is a staggering example from New Zealand where the plans for their version of plain packaging of tobacco have just been announced. The ink has not even reached the statute book yet but they are already saying that what is proposed is simply not good enough and discussing what should come next.

Full article

Loony doctors

Published on 2017-06-28 13:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The British Meddling Association has been demanding graphic warnings on alcohol since 2008 (ie. ever since they appeared on cigarette packs). Now they have had another brainwave that nobody could have possibly seen coming...

Doctors call for sweet packets to have cigarette-style health warnings

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/health/bma-conference-sweets-label-health-warning/
Doctors call for sweet packets to have cigarette-style health warnings
Sweet packets and other sugary food should carry warnings on them to try and improve the health of children’s teeth, doctors are suggesting.

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