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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.

One Crisis Triggers Another

Published on 2020-01-28 11:38:51.
Website: Frank Davis


We’ve been getting so many fake health scares for so long that I’m having real difficulty even beginning to think that the latest coronavirus scare isn’t just Yet Another Empty Scare alongside tobacco, alcohol, obesity, sugar, salt, global warming, etc, … Continue reading →

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Last Orders with Dominic Frisby

Published on 2020-01-28 11:05:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


More podcastery for you. The new episode of Last Orders has landed, in which we are joined by Dominic Frisby to discuss Prohibition, fake news and taxation. Dominic has recently published a book about the latter. It's called Daylight Robbery, a reference to the window tax which, as you will hear on the podcast, lasted a lot longer than you might think.

It appears that the IEA's office was once a victim of it...

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Yes, sugar consumption has declined

Published on 2020-01-28 10:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


This tweet was doing the rounds last week, attracting the best part of 3,000 retweets and 10,000 likes.

Sugar consumption per person in 1850: 5 lbs
Sugar consumption per person in 2020: 175 lbs

This explains almost all disease.

People have turned into a fermenting, stagnant, toxic sugary soup that breeds cancer and disease.— Carnivore Aurelius © (@KetoAurelius) January 22, 2020 
The tweeter seems to have monetised his interest in the keto diet. It's unclear whether he's referring to the UK or the USA. Either way, his figures are wrong.

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Déjà brew: 100 years on from prohibition

Published on 2020-01-28 09:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


With the 100th anniversary of the start of Prohibition two weeks ago, I did a podcast for the IEA talking about the lessons that have been learned and unlearned.

Do have a listen and get yourself subscribed to it if you haven't already.

I also wrote about the centenary for Spiked.

And see Full article

Mounting Chaos In China

Published on 2020-01-27 11:45:09.
Website: Frank Davis


This is the right spirit: Driver hits 111mph on M58 then pulls over on hard shoulder for a cigarette Give that man a medal.  He’s clearly made of the right stuff. I did much the same thing on my way … Continue reading →

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Australia's tobacco bootleggers

Published on 2020-01-27 11:43:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In September, cigarette taxes will rise by 12.5% (plus VAT) in Australia for the eighth successive year. A pack of premium cigarettes will cost nearly $50.

The impact of these sky high prices on the smoking rate has been remarkably modest. Daily smoking prevalence has dipped from 14.5% in 2014-15 to 13.8% in 2017-18. This is less of a decline than many countries have managed without resorting to such extreme tactics, and is appreciably less than has been seen in countries which have allowed vaping to flourish (the sale of e-cig fluid is banned Down Under).

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CDC is Concealing and Suppressing Information on Youth Marijuana Vaping to Over-hype Harms of E-Cigarettes

Published on 2020-01-26 19:44:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is concealing and suppressing information on the number one cause of severe, vaping-related health harm to youths in order to deceive the public into thinking that e-cigarettes are at the top of the list.

In fact, the number one cause of severe, vaping-related health damage to youths is not electronic cigarettes, although you would not know that from reading the CDC's literature on youth vaping.

The Rest of the Story

The chief cause of substantial health harms to youth from vaping is actually not e-cigarettes. It is marijuana or THC vaping.

Full article

How Long Before They Drag in Global Warming?

Published on 2020-01-26 14:11:39.
Website: Frank Davis


I was wondering how long it was going to take before the Coronavirus epidemic got linked to Global Warming and Brexit. Not very long at all. Today’s Observer editorial: From the spread of zoonotic viruses to the growing threat of … Continue reading →

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Time Isn’t Running Out

Published on 2020-01-25 11:47:20.
Website: Frank Davis


Jo Nova: DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – The world needs an open dialogue about climate change to heal the gap between sceptics and believers since time is running out to cut the emissions that drive global warming, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said … Continue reading →

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Coronavirus is a UK Patent Virus?

Published on 2020-01-24 11:20:55.
Website: Frank Davis


I’m in two minds over whether the Coronavirus epidemic in China is something serious, or really just another ‘flu epidemic. In a time when all health scares about everything are bogus, it’s most likely that this latest scare is bogus … Continue reading →

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How the regulatory ratchet works

Published on 2020-01-23 12:13:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The temperance lobby’s reaction to today’s study showing no impact of minimum pricing on underage drinkers has been depressingly predictable.

For years, they used children as a pretext for minimum pricing, endlessly complaining about ‘pocket money prices’. Here is Alcohol Focus Scotland in 2013, for example;

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More evidence that minimum pricing was a flop

Published on 2020-01-23 08:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The evaluations of minimum pricing, such as they are, keep on coming. The latest looks at the drinking habits of 13 to 17 years who 'reported that they were drinking before and after MUP was introduced'. Fifty of them, to be precise.

Here are the findings...

The study found that money and price changes were not perceived to be barriers to drinking by the children and young people interviewed.The price of alcohol was not seen as an important factor in their drinking behaviour, and overall they did not report changing what they drank, how much they drank or how they obtained their alcohol, in response to price alone.

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The unsound Bristol Pound

Published on 2020-01-22 13:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


At the weekend it was reported that the Bristol Pound, a local currency that is worth the same as a normal pound, has fallen on hard times and may soon be taken our of circulation. In practice, this means that the government has stopped squandering taxpayers' money on it.

I looked at the financial accounts of the company that runs the scheme and was astonished by the amount of cash it has got through. Every Bristol Pound spent in every transaction since 2012 has cost around 33p in administration costs. The only people who have benefited from the project are the people who run it.

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The World Health Organisation lies about vaping on an epic scale

Published on 2020-01-22 10:27:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The deadly coronavirus that has infected hundreds of people in China and has now spread to the USA is the biggest global public health threat we have seen for some years. Naturally, therefore, the World Health Organisation spent yesterday putting out a series of deranged tweets about vaping

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The Action on Sugar/Alcohol Health Alliance mash up

Published on 2020-01-21 08:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Two of Britain's most hysterical, illiberal and puritanical pressure groups have got together to mark Sugar Awareness Week. Action on Sugar, who invented this annual non-event, have done their usual thing of measuring the amount of sugar in various products and pretending to be shocked by the number of 'teaspoons' therein.

It's an old routine and even the press have shown signs of getting bored of it lately, so they have drafted in Alcohol Health Alliance to express additional outrage. It's like when Tim Burton directed Batman Returns and decided that two baddies would work better than one. Think of Action on Sugar as Catwoman and Ian Gilmore as the Penguin.

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America's anti-vaping scam

Published on 2020-01-20 16:58:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It took five months, but the US Centers for Disease Control has finally faced reality:

CDC no longer recommending people avoid all e-cigarettes, focuses on THC-containing products
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed verbiage from its website this week suggesting that people refrain from all vaping products during its investigation into vaping-related lung injury.The CDC previously urged people to consider refraining from the use of all e-cigarette or vaping products. Now the agency is focusing on THC-containing products.

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Prohibition - never again?

Published on 2020-01-17 15:47:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Today marks one hundred years since the start of Prohibition. I've written an article for Spiked about its legacy and the lessons that have and have not been learned.

The problem with arguing about whether prohibition ‘worked’ is that it implicitly acknowledges a false premise. It suggests that the policy would have been commendable had the government been able to enforce it properly. But as Daniel Okrent, author of the excellent Last Call, writes, the worst thing about prohibition was that ‘it took away an individual right’. All the problems we associate with prohibition stemmed from people responding to their right to drink being violated, but we should not imagine that prohibition would have been a ‘success’ if the public had meekly submitted.

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The Nanny State Rich List

Published on 2020-01-15 11:38:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Taxpayers' Alliance published the latest Nanny State Rich List last week. It's always worth a read if you get to get your blood pressure up. As usual, Public Health England makes up most of the top spots...


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The problem gambling rate is still low

Published on 2020-01-14 08:46:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The latest estimates of the problem gambling rate in England were published last month. They received no media attention for reasons that will soon become obvious.

Two systems are used - the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth version (DSM-IV). Since we started measuring problem gambling rates in 1999, both systems have produced numbers within the narrow margins of 0.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent.

Three British Gambling Prevalence Surveys were published between 1999 and 2010. There was no clear trend, although there was a hint of a rise between 2007 and 2010.

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Sweet success for sugar tax?

Published on 2020-01-13 10:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The "i" newspaper has some apparently good news about the sugar levy on its front page today. The article itself is thin stuff. We are told that the average sugar content of soft drinks fell by 28 per cent between 2015 and 2018, but this is a figure from Public Health England's sugar reduction report published last September.

Full article

Jamie Oliver - the final humiliation

Published on 2020-01-10 10:51:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


What is best in life?

McDonald's set to open at former Jamie's Italian restaurant in Guildford
McDonald's is to move into the former Jamie's Italian restaurant in Guildford town centre, planning documents reveal.

The fast food giant looks set to move into the large, vacant building at 13 Friary Street, which has been empty since chef Jamie Oliver's restaurant closed in May 2019.

Full article

The endless regulatory ratchet

Published on 2020-01-09 09:38:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Further to Tuesday's post about the number of smokers rising in Scotland, despite the introduction of wondrous policies like plain packaging, it is worth reading a document published last February by ASH's Westminster front group, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health. Titled Delivering the vision of a 'Smokefree Generation', it tries to justify an endless regulatory ratchet, saying:

Full article

Tobacco Researcher Claims that Smoking May Be Safer than E-Cigarettes

Published on 2020-01-09 00:51:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Imagine if a tobacco company came out today and publicly claimed that smoking might very well be safer than using an e-cigarette. It would be a completely irresponsible statement and the company would rightly be vigorously criticized and attacked for asserting that its deadly products, which kill more than 400,000 people each year, are potentially safer than e-cigarettes, which do not contain tobacco, involve no combustion, and have been documented to have much lower levels of thousands of different chemicals compared to cigarettes.

In a strange an shocking irony, that exact claim was made today, but it came not from Big Tobacco but from a tobacco researcher. According to a press release issued by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), one of its professors--who is a tobacco researcher and studies electronic cigarettes--claimed that smoking may actually be safer than vaping. The professor was quoted as stating:

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The illogical war on energy drinks

Published on 2020-01-08 11:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



When the government announced plans to ban the sale of energy drinks in August 2018, I wrote an article for the Spectator questioning the logic behind a ban.

It seemed to me that if sugar was the problem, the government would be restricting the many drinks that have more sugary in them than Red Bull - and would leave zero-sugar energy drinks alone.

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Rauchen gegen Rechts?

Published on 2020-01-07 12:29:41.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.



Der Statistiker Prof. Walter Krämer hat mit seinem Schaukasten an der TU Dortmund Aufmerksamkeit erregt. Ein Zitat des Tabakfeinds Hitler versah er mit der Überschrift „Rauchen gegen Rechts“.

Kennen Sie die „Unstatistik des Monats“? Ein empfehlenswertes Projekt gegen Täuschung und mediale Manipulation, an dem Walter Krämer beteiligt ist, seines Zeichens Professor für Statistik an der Technischen Universität in Dortmund. Krämer betätigt sich außerdem als Buchautor und schreibt wie für Medien wie die Achse des Guten und Novo. Dort hat sich er u.a. mal kritisch mit „Gesundheitsprävention“ auseinandergesetzt; sein Fazit lautet: „Eine wirklich freie Gesellschaft sollte sich im Zweifelsfall dazu durchringen, ihre Bürger nach eigener Fasson leben, aber auch nach eigener Fasson krank werden und sterben zu lassen.“

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Smoking rates have flatlined in Scotland

Published on 2020-01-07 11:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From the Scotsman...

Scotland records first rise in smoking for seven years
Smoking in Scotland is on the rise for the first time in seven years, prompting fears over the prospect of achieving flagship plans for a “smoke-free” country by 2034.

There has also been a fall in the number of smokers trying to quit, official figures have revealed, while spending on cessation campaigns has seen a dramatic drop. Estimated smoking numbers increased from 806,817 in 2017/18 to 808,829 in 2018/19, official health service figures show.

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David Nutt on alcohol - wrong in every possible way

Published on 2020-01-06 13:26:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The 'public health' lobby have been eerily quiet since Christmas, which is odd because it is normally their peak time. So we will just have to settle for the publication of Tom Watson's new book and wait for David Nutt's book which he has previewed in the Daily Mail.

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Were 88% of Tory Facebook adverts lies?

Published on 2020-01-04 17:17:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


All election campaigns see politicians exaggerate, stretch the truth and make promises that they can't keep, but if a report issued in early December is anything to go by, the 2019 general election campaign was a particularly dishonest affair - and one party was particularly guilty.

On December 10th, Metro reported:


Investigation finds ‘88% of Tory ads misleading compared to 0% for Labour’

Similarly, the Independent reported:

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Vape Shops Saved for Now: Dodged One Bullet, But Now Must Dodge Another One

Published on 2020-01-02 16:43:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


I am expecting the FDA to announce this afternoon that it plans to enforce a ban on the sale of all flavored e-cigarette pods and cartridges for closed vaping systems, with the exception of tobacco and menthol flavors, but that it is exempting e-liquids and vape juices sold for open systems. This means that the restriction will primarily affect the vaping products sold by convenience stores, but not all of the products sold by vape shops.

The decision of the FDA not to ban all flavored e-cigarettes is a huge victory for public health. By allowing vape shops to continue selling flavored vape liquids, the FDA is preventing hundreds of thousands of ex-smokers from being forced to return to smoking. It also ensures that this important off-ramp from smoking remains available to adult smokers.

Full article

A good start to 2020

Published on 2020-01-01 20:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


From Politico...

The Trump administration is dialing back a sweeping ban on flavored vaping products the president promised three months ago, following strenuous lobbying from his political allies and the vaping industry.  Federal rules expected to be released soon — more than three months after President Donald Trump promised a crackdown on vaping amid a pair of related public health crises — include new carveouts that will allow some products to remain on the market.

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Review of the year

Published on 2019-12-28 12:11:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


2019 was the fifth year of the Banter Era and the last year of the decade (except in the eyes of wannabe pedants). Let's look back on some of the highs and lows in the world of pretend public health...


January

The Lancet launchs the hilarious EAT-Lancet diet, a near-vegan regime promoted by two billionaires who spent much of the year jetting around the world to save the planet. This was followed by a rant about 'Big Food' in the same journal by people who literally want to regulate food like tobacco.

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A conversation about the Nanny State on Tour

Published on 2019-12-27 11:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


You can never listen to too many podcasts, can you? So here's another one from the IEA, this time with me asking Mark Tovey about his Nanny State on Tour report and the staggering (mis)use of foreign aid cash.

Full article

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