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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.

Fill In The Questionnaire

Published on 2015-09-02 16:06:30.
Website: Frank Davis


I’ve been on the UK Conservative party’s mailing list for the past few years, probably as a consequence of emailing my Conservative MP about plain packaging or car smoking bans. Most of the emails have purported to come from one … Continue reading →

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Jamie Oliver bingo

Published on 2015-09-02 08:15:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Bandwagon-jumping punch-magnet Jamie Oliver will be using his 'charisma' to advance the agenda of Action on Sugar tomorrow night on Channel 4. He's already said what's on his political agenda and anyone who has followed the anti-smoking and anti-drinking movements over the years will be unsurprised to hear that it involves advertising bans and sin taxes.

Oliver is the very definition of a useful idiot so we can expect Jamie's Sugar Rush to involve the usual 'public health' incantations and junk science. But how many evidence-free assertions and misrepresentations will he be able to cram in? I've devised a special bingo card so you can play along at home. Click to engorge.

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Smoking and Non-Smoking Lanes

Published on 2015-09-01 16:56:03.
Website: Frank Davis


Various news items I noticed today, presented without comment. Number one: smoking and non-smoking lanes: Number two: Smokers in Norway ‘like Jews under the Nazis’ A politician from a fringe conservative party in the far north of Norway has compared the … Continue reading →

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We Can Solve The Problem We Caused - Honest!

Published on 2015-09-01 13:07:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Here is some staggering chutzpah from the Irish brand of tobacco control failure. Via the Irish Heart Foundation.
A new levy should be introduced to force tobacco companies enjoying profit margins of up to 60% on cigarette sales in Ireland to pay the cost of helping smokers to quit, a pre-Budget submission by the Irish Heart Foundation and Irish Cancer Society has urged. Research carried out for the Irish Cancer Society and Irish Heart Foundation by leading UK business economist Dr Rob Branston of the University of Bath shows that tobacco multinationals are making combined annual profits of between €110 million and €150 million from Irish sales. This is gained from profit margins of 60% for Japan Tobacco International, which controls over half the Irish market, 41% for Imperial Tobacco and 24% for British American Tobacco – way higher than the normal profit margins for consumer staple industries of between 12-20%.This "leading UK business economist" seems to be blind to the fact that "normal profit margins for consumer staple industries" are dictated by many different aspects of the market. Most of these are driven by competition in the form of advertising, innovation, new entrants to the market and price wars. Now, I could explain, but I reckon I don't need to. How many of those market mechanisms have been forcibly removed from the tobacco industry?

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New JAMA Article Offers Irresponsible Medical Advice to Physicians About Smoking Cessation

Published on 2015-09-01 05:39:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


An article published yesterday online in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine (JAMA Internal Medicine) advises physicians to discourage their patients from trying to quit smoking using electronic cigarettes.

(See: McMillen RC, Gottlieb MA, Winickoff JP. E-Cigarettes -- The roles of regulation and clinicians. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online August 31, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.4436.)

Arguing that "e-cigarettes primarily emit a toxic aerosol," and that "the use of e-cigarettes as well as conventional cigarettes may actually frustrate cessation attempts," the article concludes that "counseling patients to use e-cigarettes is a practice that is currently not supported by evidence." The article also argues that counseling patients to quit smoking using e-cigarettes "should be considered off-label advice."

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The Art of Smoking

Published on 2015-08-31 16:37:36.
Website: Frank Davis


A remark by regular non-smoking commenter Wobbler: I cannot fathom out no matter how hard I try how breathing in concentrated smoke directly into the lungs can possibly be good for you. I replied that what I inhale isn’t particularly … Continue reading →

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Vos données médicales intimes semées à tous vents !

Published on 2015-08-31 15:19:30.
Website: Accueil


(ATS) Dossier médical électronique mis en cause

"Le dossier médical électronique a du plomb dans l'aile en Valais. Le préposé cantonal à la protection des données, Sébastien Fanti, recommande au Conseil d'Etat de suspendre le projet, présenté en grande pompe jeudi et prévu pour entrer en vigueur le 1er septembre.

"Sébastien Fanti a confirmé lundi à l'ats l'information révélée par Le Temps en ligne. Avec la Commission de protection des données, M. Fanti est d'avis que le projet doit être suspendu le temps de conduire les audits et les examens de conformité nécessaires.

"Dans une lettre, le Parti pirate suisse
a mis en cause ce week-end le nouveau dossier médical électronique valaisan. Selon lui, le projet présente de graves dysfonctionnements en matière de sécurité informatique."

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Egon Bahr – Rauchen bis zur Bahre

Published on 2015-08-31 13:43:21.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Nein, das Netzwerk Rauchen bleibt überparteilich und hat keine innige Liebe zur Sozialdemokratie entwickelt, auch wenn nach Willy Brandt und Helmut Schmidt ein drittes SPD-Urgestein an dieser Stelle gewürdigt wird. Egon Bahr, Bundesminister a.D., Freund und Berater Willy Brandts, Architekt der neuen Ostpolitik, starb kürzlich im Alter von 93 Jahren den frühen Rauchertod.


Neben dem Pfeifengenuss war er insbesondere als Zigarettenliebhaber bekannt. Wie Helmut Schmidt setzte er sich über kleinliche Rauchverbote hinweg.
Ganz konnte Bahr (bei „normalerweise zehn bis zwölf“ Zigaretten pro Tag) aber nicht mithalten: „Ich bewundere Helmut Schmidt“, sagte er in einem Interview,
„Der raucht nur noch die Hälfte im Vergleich zu früher: 40 Stück am Tag." Heutzutage beschleicht einen übrigens das Gefühl, dass in der Politik immer
weniger (Pfeife) rauchen, aber immer mehr Pfeifen sind.

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Drafting A Welsh Public Health Bill Consultation Response

Published on 2015-08-31 12:23:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Following swiftly on from Tuesday's post about the TPD2 consultation which finishes on the 3rd, the Public Health Bill in Wales is being conulted upon and that finishes the next day, on the 4th, as in Friday.

Specifically, this is the proposal which plans to ban use of e-cigs in public places because, well, no reason at all really, as the consultation questions make quite clear.

You can find the consultation here, there is an online survey or you can return an online MS Word proforma to SeneddHealth@assembly.wales instead. The survey is slightly different as it reduces many questions to just a multiple choice scenario, so is likely not to be included as a "detailed response". We've seen this tactic to ignore dissent before so I'd advise you to return the proforma by email and will use those questions for our purpose here.

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Anti-Smoking Groups' Campaign of Deception is Working: Inquisitr Article Copies 7 E-Cigarette Myths Almost Verbatim from E-Cigarette Opponents

Published on 2015-08-31 03:34:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


An article published yesterday at Inquisitr purports to present seven reasons why e-cigarettes are "bad."

Here they are:

1. The effects of e-cigarettes are nowhere near as well-documented as cigarettes.
2. E-cigarettes contain plenty of cancerous chemicals. 3. E-cigarettes are just as addictive as smoking tobacco. 4. E-cigarettes have negative effects on lungs. 5. E-cigarettes won’t help you quit.
6. E-cigarettes create the equivalent of secondhand smoke.
7. E-cigarettes are a gateway into tobacco products for youth.  The Rest of the Story The rest of the story is that most of these seven claims are false, all are misleading, all seven points actually demonstrate the public health value of e-cigarettes, and all seven arguments are taken almost verbatim from the propaganda being disseminated by colleagues of mine in the anti-smoking movement, demonstrating that their campaign of deception regarding e-cigarettes is working. While the presence of this misleading information on one internet news site may not be terribly significant, the story is quite significant because it demonstrates that the false and deceptive information being disseminated by anti-smoking groups and health agencies which oppose e-cigarettes (including the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, as well as the American Lung Association) is being accepted at face value by the media and is therefore being spread to the public uncritically. Here is the truth about each of the seven claims: 1. The effects of e-cigarettes are nowhere near as well-documented as cigarettes.

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Stop Pretending

Published on 2015-08-30 18:37:31.
Website: Frank Davis


Writing about the US political scene last night, I started out by saying that the UK smoking ban had changed my outlook on life in all sorts of ways, and moved me from left of centre to right of centre. … Continue reading →

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Link Tank 30/08

Published on 2015-08-30 02:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Today's links postponed due to T20 Finals days.

Wacky British idea: Why not tell the truth about e-cigs?

Government grant funding corrupts tobacco research, holds back scientific inquiry

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Some Thoughts on The Candidates

Published on 2015-08-29 18:20:47.
Website: Frank Davis


I didn’t pay much attention to the last US presidential election. In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to the last two US presidential elections. I haven’t really noticed Barack Obama at all. I vaguely remember that he seemed to come … Continue reading →

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Günter Ropohl: Tabak – geschätzt und bekämpft

Published on 2015-08-29 13:46:35.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.


Der Tabakgenuss ist seit einigen Jahren allenthalben in Verruf geraten. Umso mutiger und bemerkenswerter ist das Buch Tabak und Gesellschaft: Vom braunen Gold zum sozialen Stigma, das Beiträge zur Kulturgeschichte dieser umstrittenen Pflanze versammelt. Die Herausgeber Frank Jacob und Gerrit Dworok, Historiker an der City University of New York und an der Universität Würzburg, haben selbstverständlich Recht: Was die Menschen 500 Jahre lang teils gehasst und teils geliebt haben, kann keine „politische Korrektheit“ von heute auf morgen aus dem kollektiven Gedächtnis verbannen – zumal es noch keineswegs gewiss ist, ob den Tabakbekämpfern der beabsichtigte „Endsieg“(1) gelingt.



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La Tribune de Genève: "La pub d’un salon érotique agace les maires genevois"

Published on 2015-08-28 12:30:53.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: "Polémique . Pour sa dernière campagne, le salon érotique a démarché directement les mairies. La Ville a refusé ces affiches.

"Ça jase dans les mairies. Les secrétaires ont réceptionné un courrier signé par le salon érotique Venusia et adressé… au Conseil administratif. A l’intérieur, deux affiches: la photo d’un mouchoir souillé collé dans une main, sur fond noir. Et un pantalon taché vers l’entre-jambes. Une inscription: «Venusia, convertisseurs de branleurs». C’est la nouvelle campagne de publicité du grand salon érotique genevois. «Aujourd’hui, de nombreux hommes se masturbent en consommant du porno sur Internet, explique la patronne du salon, Madame Lisa (photo). L’objectif de cette campagne est de les encourager à franchir les portes de Venusia pour expérimenter une vraie relation sexuelle.»

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Their Favourite Trick

Published on 2015-08-28 05:31:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


In their desperation to defame e-cigs, it seems the dinosaur section of the tobacco control industry has stopped scraping the barrel and is now crawling underneath it with the cockroaches instead.

From The Telegraph:
[The Lancet] accused [Public Health England] of falling short of its mission to protect public health. The Lancet revealed that three of the 11 authors of the original study were paid advisors for the e-cigarette industry. The editors of the journal European Addiction Research even issued a warning alongside the article saying there was a ‘potential conflict of interest.Yep, just the usual. The Lancet piece doesn't bother to challenge the evidence itself, merely choosing to sling ad hominems and smears around instead, the prime tactic of bent tobacco controllers everywhere. Except this time they are attacking their own colleagues. It never ceases to amaze me how very low these disgusting rimlickers can get.

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The Lancet's smear campaign

Published on 2015-08-28 04:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Lancet published an embarrassingly bad editorial knocking the Public Health England report on e-cigarettes today. They appear to have given their smear story as an exclusive to the Daily Mail because that's how credible scientific journals work, right?

The hatchet job focuses on the conflicts of interest of two co-authors of one of the many studies cited by PHE in their report. Both were declared at the time and one of them isn't really a conflict of interest.

Regular readers will know that I'm no fan of Public Health England, but this is pathetic. I've written about i

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Smoking ban in prison leads to usual outcome

Published on 2015-08-28 03:24:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


If you could go back in a time machine to the year 2000, let alone the year 1980, what would people make of the following passage from this news story?

Dr Goodwin was on Wednesday asked in Parliament if she would reconsider the smoking ban if it proved to be a key motivation behind the siege.

She said the government would not back down.

"We're not in the business of giving in to the demands of prisoners for things and conceding that a hostage action was appropriate," she said.

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La secret bancaire des Suisses est menacé à son tour !

Published on 2015-08-27 17:46:47.
Website: Accueil


La rapide érosion des libertés personnelles et publiques ne semble bouleverser personne en Suisse car la menace est pratiquement invisible autant qu'elle est sournoise.

Il aura fallu attendre les révélations d'Assange et de Snowden pour comprendre que les États-Unis d'Amérique se livraient depuis des années à des actes d'intrusion inadmissibles jusque dans la comptabilité de nos instituts bancaires qui s'imaginaient protégés grâce au secret bancaire réputé  "non négociable". Cette institution Suisse remontant à 1934 faisait partie de notre patrimoine génétique.

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Aseem Malhotra still doesn't know what he's talking about

Published on 2015-08-27 05:47:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Aseem Malhotra has inexplicably been on television again today spouting his latest scientifically illiterate theories. In recent months he has been lurching ever closer towards the low carb cult and the Atkins diet. He is now telling people to eat a low carb, high fat diet while simultaneously telling them to adopt the Mediterranean diet. The latter has never been properly defined but is certainly not low carb. I can only assume that he has now read more than one diet book.

In the last year or so, Malhotra has done his best to deter people from taking statins, downplay the importance of physical activity, eat more fat and not worry about how many calories they consume - strange behaviour for a cardiologist. Perhaps, as Fergus says, he is trying to recruit new customers.

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Revisiting CAMRA's 'historic victory'

Published on 2015-08-27 03:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Last year I wrote a post about what the Campaign for Real Ale described as its 'historic victory' of breaking the beer tie.

This is actually the second time that CAMRA has successfully lobbied to break the beer tie. They first did it in the 1980s when Thatcher forced breweries to sell off thousands of pubs. The unintended, but predictable, consequence was that thousands of pubs were bought up by property management companies.

These companies (pubcos) soon became the new villains in CAMRA mythology and last year they were cut down to size when the government (or, more precisely, the opposition plus the Lib Dems) broke the modern beer tie by banning pubcos from making it a contractual obligation for tenants to buy alcohol from them at a higher-than-market rate. This is known as the Market Rent Only option and tenants of large pubcos now have a legal right to it.

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New data confirm that tobacco sales rose after plain packaging

Published on 2015-08-26 01:28:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


As reported last week by Guido and Catallaxy Files (but no mainstream media outlets that I know of), tobacco sales increased by 0.5 per cent in the first year of plain packaging in Australia. I didn't want to comment until I'd had a change to look at the newly published stats in depth, but I have now done so and the figures in Guido's report are spot on.

21,901,393,720 cigarettes were sold in the twelve months before plain packaging was introduced. In the next twelve months, 22,016,130,420 cigarettes were sold. This is a rise - a small rise but a remarkable one considering that sales had been consistently falling for many years before the policy was introduced.

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Drafting A TPD2 Consultation Response

Published on 2015-08-25 14:39:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


A UK Government consultation on the EU's appalling dog's breakfast Tobacco Products Directive finishes on September 3rd so I thought we might have a bash at it, whaddya reckon?

As most of you are aware, these things are really just an exercise in government pretending it is listening to the public. The vast majority of responses come from state-funded quangos and lobby groups so they are better termed public sector consultations. However, over time we have learned the rules, as I mentioned in June last year.

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The reverse paranoia of 'public health'

Published on 2015-08-25 14:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Via Clive Bates on Twitter, I see that Simon Capewell has written an article about 'internet trolls' for his newsletter. I don't follow Capewell on Twitter but I do occasionally see his green ink tweets and, weirdly, he sometimes retweets things I say ironically thinking that I'm being serious.

In recent months the UK Faculty of Public Health, of which Capewell is the president, has called for a ban on vaping in indoor places and a tax on sugar. As you might expect, this has not gone down well with a large section of the public. Some members of the public have told him so on Twitter and that makes them industry-funded trolls in the fantasy world of Public Health (Capewell uses the term 'Big Tobacco' three times in his short article, despite the fact that 'Big Tobacco' has no reason to care about sugar taxes and might be positively upbeat about vaping bans).

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On wowsers

Published on 2015-08-25 02:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


This is my submission to Australia's senate inquiry into personal choice and community impacts. I tried to keep it general and concise...

The issue of paternalistic lifestyle regulation is broad, but I would like to make two general points that I hope the committee will bear in mind during its investigation. The first relates to ethics, the second to costs.

A large part of the modern 'public health' agenda involves trying to stop adult consumers from engaging in behaviour that could pose a risk to their health. These activities do not typically pose a threat to the health of other people and, in a free society, the decision to partake in them should be a free choice for the individual, unencumbered by nudges and barriers from government.

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J’ai du bon tabac…

Published on 2015-08-24 17:23:01.
Website: Accueil


gallica.fr: "Tous les ans, la « Journée mondiale sans tabac » permet de sensibiliser aux risques que fait courir à notre santé la consommation de tabac. L’occasion de revenir sur l’histoire du tabac en France…

"Introduit en France en 1556, le tabac fait débat depuis des siècles. En 1675, le Cours de Chymie de Nicolas Lemery montre que les risques étaient déjà connus et son caractère addictif ne l’était pas moins. Les usages du tabac étaient très divers : d’abord chiqué, il fut ensuite consommé plus volontiers sous la forme prisée (« J’en ai du fin et du râpé, Ce n’est pas pour ton fichu nez », dit la chanson), avant que la pipe et la cigarette supplantent les autres formes de consommation. En 1806, un auteur fait ainsi dialoguer des anti et pro-tabac, sans dissimuler l’addiction qu’il génère : « Pour moi, dit celui-ci, c’est me prêcher en vain ; Je me passerais moins de tabac que de pain. »

"Pourtant, dans le quotidien de la société française, il est loin d’être diabolisé..."

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Stigmatisations

Published on 2015-08-24 05:56:14.
Website: Accueil


DDG/jaw: La stigmatisation d'individus ou de populations "différentes" est une très vieille pratique visant à abaisser puis à persécuter tous ceux qui sortent de l'ordinaire. Il n'y a pas que le bétail que l'on marque au fer rouge... Dr Philippe Conus, psychiatre à la Clinique de Cery (Etat de Vaud - Suisse) a consacré un exposé à ce thème vieux comme le monde. Il confesse en passant avoir lui-même été victime de stigmatisation en raison du choix de sa spécialisation: la psychiatrie:-) ... Mais il n'oublie pas pour autant de mentionner  au passage les fumeurs parmi les victimes de la discrimination pathologique qu'ils endurent. Un exposé qui mérite vraiment d'être écouté de bout  en bout.

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A letter to the Telegraph

Published on 2015-08-23 03:04:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


A 'policy advisor' from Cancer Research UK has written to the Telegraph to disagree with an article I wrote which argued against handing out e-cigarettes on the NHS. The letter contains a few factual errors so here's a quick rebuttal.

SIR – Christopher Snowdon suggests that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for e-cigarettes. Yet taxpayers do exactly that for the costs of smoking. The costs of tobacco use in England are £13.8 billion a year, far exceeding the £7.6 billion in tobacco duty collected in 2014-15.

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Link Tank 22/08

Published on 2015-08-22 01:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Off to the cricket, so I'll just leave these here.

Anti-smoking zealots are censoring reality

Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health

A short history of gin

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Lifestyle regulation

Published on 2015-08-20 23:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Still on holiday. The following is a short article I wrote to explain what lifestyle economics is all about and why it matters. You may be interested to compare it with this article from the newly formed UK Public Health Network which says that the word 'lifestyle' should be banned because it implies that people are free.

If market liberals stand idly by as the state sets prices, restricts commercial speech and demonises industries (and their customers), they will stand for anything. Under the pretext of ‘public health’, basic levers of competition—price, content and marketing—are increasingly falling under state control. With the advent of minimum pricing and plain packaging, the possibility of the government dictating how much a product sells for and what it looks like has become very real.

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A Bad Day For Anti-Smoking Bigots

Published on 2015-08-20 06:04:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I'm sure you couldn't have missed yesterday's news about Public Health England's report on e-cigs, it was quite prominent on the front pages of some papers and received blanket coverage across the BBC.


The report was very bad news for tobacco control's scattered e-cig denialists because it effectively debunked every one of their desperate imaginary reasons why vaping should be restricted. No threat from passive vaping, no adverse health effects for users, no renormalisation of smoking and no gateway effect for children. If this was a chess game, it was the equivalent of taking the denialists' Queen, checkmating their King and then setting fire to all their other pieces, they have literally nothing left.

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Closing Time: an excerpt

Published on 2015-08-19 23:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The next in this series of excerpts from IEA lifestyle publications is from Closing Time. It looks at what should and shouldn't be done to save the British pub...

CAMRA

Given CAMRA’s preoccupation with PubCos, it is not surprising that their prescription for the ailing pub trade focuses on ‘PubCo reform’. They are campaigning for ‘guest beer rights’ and the ‘choice of paying a higher rent in exchange for being free to buy beer on the open market’. Both of these policies would sever the beer tie and fundamentally undermine the PubCo model.

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