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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 Thunberg Regime

Published on 2019-10-19 10:06:27.
Website: Frank Davis


I ought to be interested in the debate about Boris’ Brexit Deal in Parliament today, but I’m not, perhaps because: Remain supporters have hatched a plan to ensure Boris Johnson will be forced to ask for a Brexit extension even … Continue reading →

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Last Orders with Martin Durkin

Published on 2019-10-19 08:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



A new Last Orders podcast came out recently. I forgot to mention it here at the time, but here it is.

This month's guest is the wonderful film maker Martin Durkin. We talk about the US vape panic (again), the lies about minimum pricing and whether it's OK to spray smokers in the face with fire extinguishers.

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The Rapid Appearance of Extinction Rebellion

Published on 2019-10-18 10:05:50.
Website: Frank Davis


Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a surprisingly new organisation. It seems to have originated in the UK in May 2018, barely 18 months ago: Extinction Rebellion was established in the United Kingdom in May 2018 with about one hundred academics signing … Continue reading →

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Tennessee Department of Health Appears to Have Deliberately Blamed E-Cigarettes for a Death It Knew Was Caused by THC Carts

Published on 2019-10-18 09:19:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Yesterday, I revealed that the Tennessee Department of Health reported its first death from vaping-associated respiratory illness as follows: "The Tennessee Department of Health has reported one death in a patient with serious respiratory disease associated with use of electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. This is the first such death reported in Tennessee."

As it turns out, it appears that this death was not caused by electronic cigarettes, but by THC vape carts.

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A year of cannabis legalisation

Published on 2019-10-18 09:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Yesterday was the first anniversary of cannabis re-legalisation in Canada. I made a short video for VolteFace (see below) with a few thoughts about what needs to be done to wipe out the black market. My view hasn't really changed since I wrote this because the statistics haven't really changed. At the last count, two-thirds of recreational cannabis was still being bought on the black market thanks to the high price and lack of availability of legal product.

Speaking of statistics, the available data do not strongly show any increase in the number of Canadians consuming cannabis. In the first three quarters of 2018, the prevalence rate was 14%, 15.6% and 15.2% respectively.

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Tennessee Department of Health Tragically Misleads the Public in Order to Falsely Blame a Death on E-Cigarettes

Published on 2019-10-18 01:59:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Sadly, Tennessee recently experienced its first death from vaping-associated respiratory illness.

Here's how the Tennessee Department of Health reported it: "The Tennessee Department of Health has reported one death in a patient with serious respiratory disease associated with use of electronic cigarettes or other vaping devices. This is the first such death reported in Tennessee."

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Pubs hit hard by the smoking ban - new study

Published on 2019-10-17 13:09:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Taken from Closing Time
There's a nice study in Health Policy looking at the impact of the English smoking ban on alcohol sales. It is of particular interest because it provides data for smokers and nonsmokers in the on-trade and off-trade.

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The Shapers of Political Identity

Published on 2019-10-17 10:33:41.
Website: Frank Davis


In my youth I spent most of my life outside England. I lived in Barbados, in Eritrea, in Libya, in Gambia, and in several cities in Brazil. If not a man of the world, I was at least a boy … Continue reading →

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Does the alcohol industry encourage pregnant women to drink? Four idiots investigate.

Published on 2019-10-16 13:42:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It is with a heavy heart that I must inform that Mark Petticrew is at it again...

Alcohol industry 'puts pregnant women at risk', researchers say
Alcohol firms and bodies they fund are encouraging women to drink in pregnancy – putting their unborn child in danger – by publishing false and misleading information about the risks involved, new research claims.
The study is here. It is a follow-up to this discredited effort by Petticrew and three colleagues who claimed that the booze industry 'appears to be engaged in the extensive misrepresentation of evidence about the alcohol-related risk of cancer.' Ironically, that study was based on some extensive misrepresentation, not to mention shameless cherry-picking and selective quotation.

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The Strange Resurgence of Climate Change

Published on 2019-10-16 09:53:05.
Website: Frank Davis


Hanoi Jane is back in town: Appearing Monday on CNN, actress and left-wing activist Jane Fonda said she is prepared to “get arrested every Friday” in the wake of her arrest on Capitol Hill during a climate change protest last week and floated … Continue reading →

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The radicalisation of Dame Sally

Published on 2019-10-16 08:13:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Sally Davies stepped down as Chief Medical Officer last month, but she refuses to go away. In the last week alone she has called for a raft of extreme anti-food policies and a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes.

She was not always like this. As I argue in this article for Spiked, Davies' time in 'public hea;th' is a cautionary tale of radicalisation.

Just when you thought she had gone away, Sally Davies is back – and louder than ever. When she finally stepped down as the UK’s chief medical officer last month, after a long farewell tour, I naively thought we had seen the back of her. But then that’s what I thought about John Major and Gary Barlow in the 1990s, so I should be used to disappointment by now. Some people just don’t know when they’re not wanted. Dame Sally seemed to revel in her reputation as a bossy, nanny-state scold in her nine years as Britain’s ‘top doctor’. So it’s been a shock to discover that she was self-censoring all that time. Freed from the constraints of her £205,000-a-year government job, she is now able to say what she really thinks, and it’s scary stuff.

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Was Dame Sally a Whistleblower?

Published on 2019-10-15 10:26:31.
Website: Frank Davis


I still haven’t got over outgoing UK Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies’ manifesto: At a glance | Prof Dame Sally Davies’ review of obesity crisis Key proposals: Ban eating or drinking anything but plain water on all urban public transport … Continue reading →

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Dame Sally and plain packaging for food

Published on 2019-10-15 09:18:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist



Former Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies treated us to her mad parting shot last week with a report on childhood obesity. Most of the media coverage focused on the idea of banning eating and drinking on public transport (because it normalises snacking or something), but that was only one of a number of lunatic proposals.

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The CDC is Still Misleading the Public about the Cause of the Respiratory Disease Outbreak: Why?

Published on 2019-10-14 23:49:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Last Thursday, CDC finally revised its warning to the public about the vaping-associated respiratory disease outbreak to state clearly that vaping THC-containing products is playing a major role in the outbreak. It stated that: "The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak. Therefore, CDC recommends that you should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC."

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The Lancet explained

Published on 2019-10-14 20:33:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've just come across this press release from earlier in the year which helps explain how so much unscientific, non-medical, political dross gets published in the alleged medical journal the Lancet.

'Activist Editor' Richard Horton of The Lancet receives $100,000 Roux Prize
.. "Richard has been an activist editor, relentlessly taking on issues beyond the traditional scope of 'public health,' including the accountability of the medical profession, as well as human rights," said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. "He has demonstrated an uncompromising commitment to advance health internationally, and his vision for a healthier, safer, and more just world has made Richard one of the world's most sought-after population health speakers."

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Like the Telephone Game, CDC's Lack of Clarity is Becoming Completely False Facts at the Local Level

Published on 2019-10-14 13:12:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Do you recall the telephone game? Players sit in a circle and the first person whispers a phrase into the ear of the second person, who whispers it to the third person, and so forth, until it gets to the last player, who then repeats the phrase that they heard. Typically, the phrase changes substantially from the beginning because a series of small, progressive changes add up to a completely different phrase at the end.

The only way to prevent this is for the first person to deliver such a clear message that it cannot be mistaken.

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News Headline Shows How Misinformation About Respiratory Disease Outbreak is Spreading

Published on 2019-10-11 12:32:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The featured headline of a news article published yesterday at NorthJersey.com (the North Jersey Record) was: "Vaping with JUUL Damaged NJ Woman's Lungs, Left Her Hospitalized."



The headline of the article itself read: "'My Lungs Were Chemically Burned': NJ Victim Speaks Out Against Vaping."

These headlines certainly give the impression that this unfortunate 21-year-old woman developed acute respiratory failure due to her use of JUUL.

Full article

Utah Department of Health Concludes that THC Vape Cartridges are Causing Respiratory Disease Outbreak; Issues Specific Warning against Use of THC Oils

Published on 2019-10-07 12:22:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Unlike most other state health departments, which are conflating the respiratory disease outbreak associated with black market (and a few legal dispensary-sold) THC vaping products and the general problem of youth e-cigarette use, the Utah Department of Health has issued a report which unequivocally concludes that vaping marijuana is causing severe respiratory illness, which has now affected 71 residents in the state.

Unlike the CDC and many state health departments, which are doing everything they can to undermine the observed connection between outbreak cases and marijuana vaping, the Utah Department of Health concluded that: "Given the evidence outlined below, vaping THC cartridges or “carts” is likely the driver of this outbreak of severe lung injury. The UDOH recommends people do not vape THC cartridges until we learn more."

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Smoking literature

Published on 2019-10-07 09:59:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I'm off on holiday for a few days so I'll leave you with a bit of reading material from my favourite single-issue pressure group, FOREST.

Josie Appleton is always worth reading. Her book Officious is a modern libertarian classic and her recent polemic 40 Years of Hurt is worthy of your attention.


Full article

CDC's Communications are Likely Making this Outbreak Much Worse

Published on 2019-10-04 10:03:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


A new survey released yesterday by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago found that the public believes that vaping nicotine-based e-liquids is much more harmful than vaping THC e-liquids.

While 54% of the public believes that vaping nicotine is very harmful, only 38% believe that vaping THC is very harmful. And while just 16% of the public does not believe that nicotine vapes are harmful, an amazing one-third (33%) of the public does not believe that vaping marijuana carries any risk.

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Mysterious vaping illness - latest

Published on 2019-10-04 09:57:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


It's been over a month and there is still no sign of the USA coming to its senses about the 'mysterious vaping-related disease'. The media reporting has been generally abysmal, but the response of politicians and health agencies has been nothing short of reprehensible.

Here is the latest advert from the Illinois Department of Public Health, for example...

There's no denying where you'll end up if you keep vaping. Take the first step to quit today visit: https://t.co/n9u0OdtGIm #ILQuitVaping pic.twitter.com/6QycNirIEC— IDPH (@IDPH) October 2, 2019

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That teen vaping epidemic

Published on 2019-10-03 10:28:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


All the data you need to debunk America's teen vaping panic is freely available on government websites. Martin Jarvis and colleagues have been looking at the National Youth Tobacco Survey and the number of high school students who regularly vape without having previously used tobacco is very small indeed.

Past-30-day e-cigarette use increased by 78% from 11.7% in 2017 to 20.8% in 2018. In both years, use was strongly associated with lifetime tobacco use history: it was seen in 8.4% of never tobacco users in 2018, in 29.0% of those who had tried a non-combustible, but never a combustible, product (OR 4.4 (CI 2.8-7.2) by comparison with never tobacco users), and in 71.0 % of those who had smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime (OR 26.8, CI 17.7-40.5) Frequent use occurred in 0.1% of never tobacco users in 2017 and 1.0% in 2018. Findings from 2014 and 2015 showed that first product tried was overwhelmingly cigarettes among those with a substantial lifetime cigarette history. Among past-30-day e-cigarette users who had never tried tobacco products in 2018, 3.8% reported craving, 3.1% reported wanting to use within 30 minutes of waking, and 61.8% said they had used e-cigarettes on ≤10 days in their life.

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The “Other” Youth Vaping Epidemic: Why Has It Been Ignored?

Published on 2019-10-01 23:07:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


While the CDC and many health groups have been obsessed with youth e-cigarette use, an even more troubling epidemic has been spreading among our nation’s youth. In contrast to the e-cigarette use explosion, which has not caused any significant disease or deaths, this other, ignored epidemic has caused hundreds of youth to develop life-threatening respiratory failure and has been responsible for 13 deaths.

What is this “other” vaping epidemic?
It’s not vaping of e-cigarettes. It’s the vaping of marijuana.

In my analysis of data from the 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey, I found that the majority of youth who currently use e-cigarettes also report having vaped marijuana or THC vape cartridges.

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To Protect Youth from Progression to Cigarette Smoking, Truth Initiative Wants to Ban the Fake Ones But Let Real Cigarettes Remain on the Shelves

Published on 2019-09-30 23:51:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


In an op-ed piece published by CNN last Friday, the president of the Truth Initiative bemoaned the "epidemic" of vaping among our nation's youth, arguing that electronic cigarette use leads to smoking. She cited research which shows "that young people who vape are more likely than their peers who don't vape to smoke traditional cigarettes in the future."

And what does the Truth Initiative propose should be done to prevent a massive youth migration to cigarette smoking?

Full article

In Response to Two Deaths Due to Marijuana Vaping, Oregon Health Department Recommends Ban on Nicotine-Containing Electronic Cigarettes

Published on 2019-09-30 11:32:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


In response to two deaths that it says were attributable to vaping cannabis purchased from legal state dispensaries and three additional cases that were linked to cannabis products purchased from state dispensaries, the Oregon Health Authority is recommending that all nicotine-containing (non-cannabis) electronic cigarettes should be banned for six months.

According to an article by Oregon Public Broadcasting: "Officials with the Oregon Health Authority recommended Gov. Kate Brown ban vaping products in the state for six months, following a second vaping-related death Thursday." This recommendation is for a ban on all vaping products, both THC and nicotine e-liquids.

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CDC Finally Admits that Black Market THC Vape Carts are a Major Culprit in Respiratory Disease Outbreak

Published on 2019-09-29 14:22:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The CDC has finally admitted that black market THC vape carts are a major culprit in the respiratory disease outbreak that has affected 805 people and resulted in 13 deaths. Instead of continuing to emphasize that "no single product" is linked to all the cases, the CDC clearly stated yesterday that "THC is the most prominent link across patients" and the agency changed its warning to specifically mention THC: "While this investigation is ongoing, CDC recommends that persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products, particularly those containing THC."

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What's on at the Conservative conference?

Published on 2019-09-29 09:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Conservative Party conference begins today and the IEA will be hosting two days of solid debate in the Think Tent, kicking off at 8am with a panel discussion on medical cannabis which I will be chairing.

I'll be speaking straight after, at 9am, about the nanny state with Ben Bradley, Vicky Ford and Tim Stanley (chaired by Darren Grimes).

I'll also be in the Think Tent on Tuesday at 10.15am talking about recreational cannabis, and I'll be with the Conservative Environmental Network on Monday at 5.30pm talking about environmental policy. That's in Room 3/4 of the secure zone.

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77% of people suffering from THC-related lung injuries admit to using THC

Published on 2019-09-29 09:18:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


I've followed up my Spectator article about the US vape scare from a weeks ago with an article in the Telegraph. Since writing it, the Centers for Disease Control have said that 77 per cent of the cases admitted to having used THC vapes. If a bunch of people at a festival got ill with a particular disease and 77 per cent of them admitted to taking the same drug, we would have no trouble working out the other 23 per cent had also taken it.

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CDC's Failure to Demand Urine THC Testing of All Outbreak Patients is Inexcusable and is Putting the Entire Nation at Risk

Published on 2019-09-27 11:46:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


The CDC has irresponsibly botched its entire investigation of vaping-associated respiratory illness (VARI) by failing to recommend or demand that clinicians perform a urine THC drug test on every case patient, and this is putting the entire nation at risk while leading to terrible public policies that are causing immediate harm to thousands of people.

The CDC continues to insist that we have no idea what is causing this "mystery illness" and that "no single product" has been identified that explains all of the cases. This statement, which violates basic principles of epidemiological outbreak investigations, is the single communication that has confused policy makers and the public and hindered the ability of state health agencies to issue appropriate recommendations to the public to actually curtail this epidemic of life-threatening respiratory failure.

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Using Its Emergency Powers, Rest of the Story Issues Four-Month Temporary Ban on Further E-Cigarette Bans

Published on 2019-09-27 00:24:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Today, I am bypassing the usual rulemaking process and using my emergency powers to declare a public health emergency and accordingly, I am issuing a four-month, temporary ban on politicians enacting further electronic cigarette bans.

The purpose of this public health emergency is to temporarily pause all knee-jerk reaction e-cigarette bans so that we can work with our vaping and cannabis market experts to identify what is actually making people sick and how to better regulate these products to protect the health of our residents without putting thousands of small business owners out of work, forcing thousands of ex-smokers to return to smoking, and creating a massive new or expanded black market for illicit THC and nicotine e-liquids.

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An alternative history of minimum pricing

Published on 2019-09-26 15:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In April, I wrote of minimum pricing...

The studies might as well have been written before the policy was implemented. Unable to show an actual decline in consumption, the evaluators at Sheffield and Stirling Universities (for it is they) will have to resort to using a back-of-the-envelope counterfactual which will doubtless conclude that consumption is lower than it would have been in the absence of minimum pricing.  This will then be presented to the media as a decline and the policy will be declared as a success, albeit with the caveat that the unit price should be raised to 60p.

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Politicians Continue to Destroy Hundreds of Small Businesses as More Drug Busts Reveal Thousands More Illicit THC Vape Carts

Published on 2019-09-26 13:04:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary


Yesterday, the governor of yet another state - Rhode Island - announced that he would be directing the Department of Health to ban the sale of all flavored e-liquids. This now makes four states which either have banned or will imminently ban the sale of either all nicotine-containing e-cigarettes or all flavored, nicotine-containing e-cigarettes. This, along with the resignation of the CEO of JUUL, gained widespread media attention yesterday, dominated on the air waves only by a presidential impeachment inquiry.

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