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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.

The Rise of the New Idiocracy

Published on 2017-04-30 10:28:42.
Website: Frank Davis


I’m trying to build up a collection of “plain” tobacco packs, because I think that one day they’re going to be collectors’ items framed behind glass for future generations to see what happens when madness takes hold of societies. This … Continue reading →

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The Enemies of Society

Published on 2017-04-29 11:54:24.
Website: Frank Davis


Many thanks for all the comments under yesterday’s post, where I sketched out my plans for producing YouTube videos of Skype conversations between smokers. I’ve taken note of 7 or 8 people who seem interested in participating. At some point … Continue reading →

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Skype and YouTube

Published on 2017-04-28 10:33:34.
Website: Frank Davis


Back in 2011, at Stony Stratford, one of my regrets about that otherwise remarkably successful demonstration of smoker solidarity was that, having held up their protest placards for the TV cameras, and listened to a few speeches, and imbibed a … Continue reading →

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Public Health England and the anti-drink lobby

Published on 2017-04-28 09:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The very first thing Public Health England did when it was created in 2013 was demand minimum pricing for alcohol. As I said at the time, it had all the hallmarks of another taxpayer-funded nanny state outfit.

So it has proved, but the extent to which this quango acts as a partisan pressure group is only gradually coming to light. Using the Freedom of Information Act, I have found hundreds of e-mails between PHE and the Institute of Alcohol Studies (née the UK Temperance Alliance). IAS is a private organisation with strong views on alcohol policy and their members are entitled to have their voice heard, but the e-mails show that PHE has been working hand-in-glove with them for several years. Other strident neo-temperance campaigners are also heavily involved with PHE's alcohol team, including Alcohol Concern and the fanatic Ian Gilmore (who co-chairs one of PHE's main alcohol committees).

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The Plain Packs Farce Is Confirmed

Published on 2017-04-27 20:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Before heading out this morning, I read this stunning statement in a BBC article about a new review of evidence (pfft) about plain packaging.
There was no evidence that changing packaging affected the number of young people taking up smoking, [Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, co-author of the report] said.This is hardly surprising, because it is true. In fact I have written often about how the tobacco control lie-machine has tried very hard to avoid this unfortunate (for them) outcome of possibly the daftest 'public health' policy ever to have crept past lumpen-brained wooden-tops in parliament.

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What’s In A Name?

Published on 2017-04-27 09:47:59.
Website: Frank Davis


I ended up yesterday thinking about names, because Harley had a lot of names. What was his real name? What was his most secret and true name? It almost certainly wasn’t Harley. I used to think his real name was … Continue reading →

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A Major Embarrassment for the FDA: Congressman to Introduce E-Cigarette Regulatory Bill Tomorrow

Published on 2017-04-26 23:39:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


According to multiple sources, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) will introduce legislation tomorrow in the House of Representatives that will create a new regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes and vaping products. The bill is titled “The Cigarette Smoking Reduction and Electronic Vapor Alternatives Act of 2017.”

Briefly, here is what the bill would do, in order of importance:

1.     The FDA would be precluded from regulating electronic cigarettes under the same framework as tobacco cigarettes. Thus, the bill would put an end to the requirement for e-cigarette companies to submit pre-market tobacco applications and would not apply modified risk provisions to vaping products.2.     The bill would set up a distinct regulatory framework for electronic cigarettes, under the jurisdiction of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.3.     The bill would establish safety standards for e-liquids and vaping devices that would go into effect one year after the enactment of the legislation. These standards include:a.       Immediate adoption of the e-liquid standards developed by the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association (AEMSA);b.       Subsequent adoption of the e-liquid standards being developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) once they are established;c.       Immediate adoption of battery safety standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission;d.       Immediate requirement for short-circuit protection for the heating element;e.       Battery overcharge protection;f.        Battery discharge protection; andg.       Tracking of all devices by serial and lot numbers.4.     The FDA would be required to review any subsequent e-liquid standards established by AEMSA or ANSI and adopt such standards if they are deemed to be appropriate for the protection of the public’s health.5.     The FDA would be authorized to promulgate regulations to prevent marketing of vaping products to minors.6.     The FDA would be required to conduct a health safety assessment comparing the risks of different tobacco products as well as vaping products and submit this report to Congress.7.     The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products would be renamed the “Center for Tobacco Products and Tobacco Harm Reduction.”

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ASH And The Goldilocks Fairy Tale

Published on 2017-04-26 18:21:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


One of the most bizarre measures in the EU's Tobacco Products Directive - a hideous and disgraceful piece of legislation which has nothing to do with 'harmonising EU markets' but everything to do with social engineering - is the ridiculous banning of 10 packs of cigarettes and smaller pouches of tobacco.

As Ian Dunt, editor of Politics.co.uk, rightly asks, what kind of idiot suggested this?

How is making me buy more tobacco than I want part of an anti-smoking strategy?— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) April 23, 2017

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Harley

Published on 2017-04-26 10:01:19.
Website: Frank Davis


I’m far from convinced that Harley is dead. There’s not enough evidence. The only evidence I’ve got is two Facebook comments by Iro Cyzane. The first one: Dearest Daniel, Harleyrider, you fought hard for what you believed in. Thanks for … Continue reading →

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New Article on Graphic Warning Labels is Wrong on the Law: Why Strict Scrutiny is the Proper Standard for Proposed FDA Warnings

Published on 2017-04-25 12:07:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued regulations that required graphic warning labels on cigarette packages. The FDA chose nine graphic images, such as a picture of a man with a chest scar from cardiac surgery, along with a telephone number for smokers to call for help with smoking cessation (1-800-QUIT-NOW). The tobacco companies subsequently challenged the rule, arguing that it violated their First Amendment rights by compelling them to commercial speech which is against their economic interests (i.e., speech which strongly encourages consumers to stop using the product). The D.C. district court overturned the regulations on this basis, a decision that was affirmed by the appellate court.

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A Question Of Lobbying

Published on 2017-04-24 21:38:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I see that ASH have been banging on about the Tobacco Control Plan again ... or Lib Dem Norman Lamb has anyway.

Read @DHgovuk written question about tobacco control plan: https://t.co/b6tE5vlpXE @normanlamb @nicolablackwood @TheyWorkForYou— ASH (@ASH_LDN) April 21, 2017
Maybe it's because he's the illiberal undemocratic party's spokesman for health matters which has got them so excited, I dunno, because a parliamentary question about this is hardly unusual. ASH should know, because they have ordered a lot of them like most of us would order a stuffed crust pepperoni with extra cheese.

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Is the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Even Capable of Being Honest?

Published on 2017-04-24 10:53:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In a press release issued last Friday, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids once again accused the tobacco companies of marketing cotton candy e-cigarettes to youth.

The press release states: "This bill would make it much harder for the FDA to limit the sale or marketing of these products and, by making current products the industry standard, much easier for tobacco companies to continue marketing products in kid-friendly flavors like cotton candy and cherry crush."

The Rest of the Story

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A Nanny State Shop In London

Published on 2017-04-23 17:53:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



The awesome guys from Students for Liberty paid London a visit on Thursday. If you are not aware of SfL, they are a global movement of students campaigning, as it says on the tin, for the protection of our freedoms ... and they are delightfully passionate about it.

Regular readers will remember that a contingent from SfL travelled to India to present the World Health Organisation with an award for being "The Least Transparent Organisation in the Galaxy" in November, and they have also campaigned against nanny statism in a number of major global cities.

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Authoritarians Left And Right

Published on 2017-04-19 18:46:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


The Foundation for Economic Education published an interesting essay last week on the nature and politics of authoritarianism and how it is not the sole preserve of the politically left or right. The tract is primarily focussed on the US but it works just as well for this side of the pond.

Here are some extracts which will be easily recognisable by fellow jewel robbers. What exactly is authoritarianism, though? It’s rather hard to defeat an enemy that one cannot define, let alone understand. Broadly, authoritarianism is the desire to impose one’s own worldview on others in one’s society by institutionalized coercion. Authoritarians, therefore, see punishment as an appropriate response when members of the group with which they identify (the United States, in this case) diverge too far from values that the authoritarian believes are best for society – even if the punished person has neither caused direct harm to another nor infringed another’s rights.Yep, "leave us alone" is no longer a defence against the people we despise here, they insist on doing things to you for your own good. Authoritarianism becomes a significant force in the politics of a society when a psychological disposition to authoritarianism is activated among enough of the people who possess it. Any large country has a significant minority that score highly for the authoritarian psychological disposition. Usually, however, that disposition is latent, driving neither behavior nor political preferences.There used to be an insignificant minority who peered through their curtains and didn't like what other people were consuming, but they were insane, anti-social, and thankfully powerless.
'Public health' massaged their bigotry, encouraged their misanthropy, and turned them into a vile throbbing mass of seething anger about the inconsequential choices of others. In an era where racial, sexist, homophobic and religious hatred has been largely reined in, the legions of self-enriching 'public health' professionals nurtured the bile and redirected it towards the harmless choices of friends, family, acquaintances and strangers so much so that online comments such as "the only good smoker is a dead one" are not only not unusual, but almost endorsed by the state. Authoritarians – whether they lean left or right – justify their politics, like everyone else, by arguing for particular positions on issues they care about. But if your goal is a free and kind society, then arguing an issue on its merits with an authoritarian may often be to shoot yourself in the foot. Doing so can mean buying into the unstated assumption that underpins all authoritarian politics – that an argument that X is right is automatically an argument for using force to make people do X. It isn’t.Quite.Specifically, the fact that “X is morally right” is a long, long way from, “It is morally right to compel people to do X,” because the latter actually means, “It is morally right to harm someone for not doing X”

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An Outbreak Of Truth On The ASH Twitter Feed

Published on 2017-04-16 18:19:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Unless the cleaners got hold of ASH's Twitter feed on Good Friday or something, was this a fleeting glimpse of real life intruding on the fantasy economics they usually try to present to the world?

The influx of cheap, illicit cigarettes into Malaysia has taken a heavy toll https://t.co/3VCfEbjSrL @MsiaChronicle— ASH (@ASH_LDN) April 14, 2017
Indeed it has, as the article they link to describes.
THE numbers have reached a staggering level. For every two cigarettes smoked in Malaysia, one is an illicit cigarette. In other words, the share of the cigarette black market has reached 57.1 per cent as at December 2016, based on Nielsen Cigarette Study 2016.By Christ! How could this sorry state of affairs have happened?
Right now, illicit cigarettes are priced between 17 and 25 sen per stick at the retail level. This compares with 85 sen per stick for legitimate cigarettes. This includes the excise rate of 40 sen per stick. No wonder the industry volume for legitimate cigarettes has been on a sharp decline. Last year, the volume fell 25 per cent to just eight billion sticks from 2015, much less than the number of illicit cigarettes.Perhaps that is the part - about tobacco companies not selling as many legal cigarettes - which attracted ASH's attention, I dunno. It's true to say that the richly-funded tobacco control Goliath's emphasis has long since become a crusade against industry rather than having anything to do with health, so that would fit very nicely.

Except it's not the whole story (emphases mine).
One worrying effect is that the number of smokers is on the rise, not on the decline. Seven out of 10 youths are buying illegal products, according to the Health Ministry. According to the Health Ministry’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2011, the number of smokers in Malaysia was 4.75 million. Subsequently, the ministry’s National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015 – Reports on Smoking Status among Malaysian Adults reported that the number of smokers increased to five million. However, cigarette prices during the same period increased by an average of more than 30 per cent. If cigarette price increases really do have a correlation with smoking cessation, the percentage of smokers would have dropped.Blimey! Do they mean that applying excise to cigarettes to an extortionate degree inevitably leads to a burgeoning black market? But ASH have always said this is nonsense, a figment of the tobacco industry's imagination in fact!

Still, I suppose in Malaysia there could be a partial solution to this 'problem' with the advent of risk reduction products like e-cigs, couldn't there? Yeah, well kinda.
Looking at the treatment of vaping in Malaysia is like entering a frightening 1984 world of doublespeak. The Deputy Education Minister is quoted as saying: “We must go to schools. And parents must be aware that e-cigs and vape are no different from tobacco products

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Tax vapers, we need the money!

Published on 2017-04-14 19:25:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Via United Vapers, there's an interesting little video of Stanton Glantz and Philip Gardiner - two anti-tobacco activist-researchers at the University of California, San Francisco - doing the rounds. The pair are filmed speaking to vapers and vaping business owners who are suffering thanks to the US's insane e-cigarette laws. Those laws have come about, in part, because of the unspeakable junk science that has come out of California.

Watching the film, you would think that Glantz and Gardiner were elected politicians rather than academics. There is no doubt about who has the power and influence. Who made these idiots judge, jury and executioner?

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Outdoor smoking ban firmly rejected

Published on 2017-04-14 13:13:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


When Theresa May became prime minister last July I left a hostage to fortune by telling the Morning Advertiser that she was 'surprisingly sound' on nanny state issues. Perhaps those words will come back to haunt me but the early signs are good. For example...

A smoking ban in beer gardens and al-fresco dining areas has been blocked by the Government after ministers warned they would infringe on people's freedom and lead to pub closures.

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Action on Jam

Published on 2017-04-13 16:05:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Action On Sugar's usual gimmick is to read the nutritional information on food labels, collate the figures and then alert the public, via a press release, that food companies use sugar as an ingredient. The amount of sugar is explained in terms of teaspoons and the quantities consumed are contrasted with the government's guidelines. Never mind that the guidelines relate to added sugar whereas Action on Sugar's figures show total sugar. Never mind, too, that the guidelines were arbitrarily halved a couple of years ago to ensure that everybody is eating too much of it; a sugar ration from World War II would take you over the guidelines these days.

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Stanton Glantz on e-cigarettes

Published on 2017-04-12 10:21:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Vice have produced a worthwhile video about the e-cigarette war in the USA in which chief protagonist Stanton Glantz is interviewed at his desk in San Francisco. Glantz has been fanatically opposed to e-cigarettes from the outset and has been as prolific in producing junk science to support his position as he has been in the past when he was promoting smoke-free movies and smoking ban miracles.

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Responsible drinking

Published on 2017-04-11 09:55:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Mark Petticrew is one of the many psychologists who got on the 'public health' gravy train to satisfy his appetite for controlling other people's lives. He was one of the main people responsible for lowering the drinking guidelines last year and when he is not complaining about the free exchange of goods and services, his main schtick is to carry out 'reviews' of voluntary agreements between government and industry.

If it doesn't involve taxing the poor or creating criminal offences, Petticrew isn't interested, and so he invariably concludes that initiatives like the Responsibility Deal don't 'work' whereas heavy-handed and regressive policies do (even when the latter have obviously failed or haven't even been tried).

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When The Music Stops, RSPH Look The Fool

Published on 2017-04-10 19:54:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


On Friday, for some unfathomable reason, the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) decided it was a doozy of an idea to do the dirty on vapers who had put much store in their support of e-cigs. I wrote about it here.

As a brief reminder, here was the 'scandal'.
Vaping shops selling to non-smokersAlmost nine in 10 e-cigarette shops in the UK are selling vaping products to non-smokers against the industry's code of conduct, an investigation reveals.As you may remember, it wasn't "the industry's code of conduct" but that of the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) which makes up just a small proportion of the industry as a whole.

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Smoke Free North West Just Quit

Published on 2017-04-09 19:18:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Last year we heard the joyous news that Smokefree South West had been canned, which was richly deserved I have to say. Now it seems that another bunch of pointless tax-draining nags in the north west will be popping down to their local JobCentre Plus too.

Via Simon Clark:
Healthier Futures, formerly Tobacco Free Futures and before that Smokefree North West, has bitten the dust. In the words of Monty Python it has kicked the bucket, it has ceased to be. "Rejoice!" as someone once said.Rejoice indeed!

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Today's Lesson In Who Not To Trust

Published on 2017-04-07 18:16:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Welcome, Ladies and Gents, to today's lesson in our ongoing course on why you should never trust a tobacco controller.

You may have noticed that the Royal Society of Public Health released a report today on who vape shops sell their legal products to, since it was covered pretty widely by the media, including in the Daily Mail, Independent, Telegraph, and Gizmodo amongst others. It was, of course, also given loud prominence by the BBC.
Almost nine in 10 e-cigarette shops in the UK are selling vaping products to non-smokers against the industry's code of conduct, an investigation reveals. The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said 87% of shops were knowingly or unwittingly prepared to sell e-cigarettes to people who have never smoked or vaped.It's the usual anti-smoking cocktail of misdirection, ignorance and scaremongering, but what's extra significant about the RSPH doing this is that they are another 'public health' organisation which claims to be on the side of vapers.

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The FCTC's Global Regress Report

Published on 2017-04-06 20:57:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


This week saw the publication of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control's (FCTC) Global Progress Report following their seventh Conference of the Parties (COP7) in November.

WHOFCTC Global Progress Report is out❗️Find it here together with presentation about main findings https://t.co/MhPv1FuDmv #UNtobaccocontrol pic.twitter.com/9wy4W7XLUr— WHO FCTC (@FCTCofficial) April 4, 2017

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Benzene, soft drinks and secondhand smoke

Published on 2017-04-06 09:54:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Science-Based Medicine reports on a court case in which the Nigerian Bottling Company was prosecuted (and lost) for selling soft drinks to the UK which had too much benzene in them.

This sounds pretty scary on the face of it, but the dose is in the poison. There is benzene in water and there is benzene in soft drinks, but very little. For some reason, the UK has a much lower limit than the international standard and a lower limit than Nigeria. Its 150 mg/kg limit for benzoic acid is a quarter of the Codex limit.

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A tale of two state-funded charities

Published on 2017-04-04 12:47:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I once spoke at a debate about state-funding of charities at which I said that no third party organisation should be able to use taxpayers' money to campaign for their political pet projects. It was hosted by a charity which was 99 per cent funded by the government and the audience was predominantly, predictably left-wing.

Suspecting that the crowd would not much care about taxpayers' money being used to further the agenda of 'social justice' or 'public health', I tried to think of a political cause that would be universally unpopular in a room of metropolitan liberals and arrived at anti-abortion activism. I may also have mentioned fox-hunting. 'Imagine how you would feel', I said, 'if the government was giving your money to charities to campaign against abortion rights.' I suggested that there would be outrage.

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Censorious French fanatics

Published on 2017-04-04 11:42:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


See you in court
News from France's Cour de cassation (the highest French court)...

This case was introduced following the broadcast of a TV program consisting in filming, during a dinner, several guests from various backgrounds, which showed three famous persons smoking.

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New Last Orders podcast with Mark Littlewood

Published on 2017-04-04 06:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Tom Slater and I recorded a new Spiked Last Orders podcast last week. This time our guest was my argumentative IEA boss Mark Littlewood and we discussed crappy journalism, the health benefits of drinking and the food reformulation scam.

If you haven't subscribed on iTunes, you can listen (and comment) here.

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All Aboard The Gravy Train

Published on 2017-04-03 21:16:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Fancy a glimpse into the tiny, self-proclaimed David v Goliath 'underdog' world of 'public health'?

Up and down the country there are people being paid hefty sums of your taxes to work full-time telling you what you are allowed to consume with your own post-tax cash.

For example:
World Obesity Federation Executive Director The RoleWe are looking for an outstanding Executive Director to work with our members, trustees and staff to achieve our vision to drive forward global efforts to reduce, prevent and treat obesity. Salary: £65,000 to £80,000 depending on experience. Minimum years preferred: In the Not for Profit sector 5-10 years.Those who have experience in economy-boosting industry need not apply. Only tax-scrounging parasites are fit for this job.

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Gary Taubes and sugar abstinence

Published on 2017-04-03 13:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The slippery slope doesn't get more blatant than this from Gary Taubes in the Guardian...

So now, assuming [the food] industry goes along with this voluntary programme, and assuming that kids don’t respond to smaller portions or sugar-reduced formulations by eating more, both of which are possible, what’s the chance that we’ll see a significant curbing of the epidemics, even if the 20% goal is reached?

Let’s use cigarettes and lung cancer as our pedagogical example, confident, as we are, that cigarettes cause lung cancer. Cigarette consumption in the UK peaked in the mid-1970s when half of all men smoked and over 40% of women. Together they averaged 17 cigarettes a day. Now let’s imagine that we didn’t get those smokers to quit, but we managed to cut their consumption by 20%. Instead of 17 cigarettes a day, they’re averaging 14.

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The myth about 'public health' saving money

Published on 2017-04-03 09:57:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


An article was published in the British Medical Journal last week which claimed that £1 spent on 'public health' saved the NHS a multiple of £1 in the long run. Return on investment ratios of 8:1 or even 14:1 were discussed.

All total nonsense and a massive misrepresentation of the economics literature. To explain why, I wrote this piece for Spectator Health:

The reference to the ‘wider health and social care economy’ is a clue that we are not dealing with hard cash here. Nobody could argue with spending a billion pounds on public health if it extended people’s lives and saved £14 billion, but that’s not the proposition. 

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Penn Medicine Expert: Smoking May Be No More Hazardous than Vaping

Published on 2017-04-03 09:54:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


An expert at Penn Medicine - the University of Pennsylvania's health care system - is telling the public that smoking cigarettes, like Marlboros, Camels, and Newports, may be no more hazardous to your health than vaping a tobacco-free e-liquid.

According to the expert: "We know that cigarettes are unsafe after 40 years of exposure. We don’t have 40 years of exposure to e-cigarettes to know what the danger is. We don’t know the safety profile, so we can’t say that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes."

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