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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.

All So Blatant

Published on 2014-07-29 19:54:25.
Website: Frank Davis


Two remarks I read today. First: Sir Peter Westmacott, the British Ambassador to Washington, broke new diplomatic ground in his interview with MSNBC TV on 28 July. Asked directly to eschew diplomatic language and give three words describing Russia’s President … Continue reading →

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Le gendarme de la concurrence inflige une amende à l'ATS

Published on 2014-07-29 17:06:26.
Website: Accueil


ATS: " L'Agence Télégraphique Suisse SA (ats) devra s'acquitter d'une amende de 1,88 million de francs. La Commission de la concurrence (COMCO) sanctionne l'agence de presse nationale pour des rabais d'exclusivité octroyés à plusieurs clients. Elle lui reproche d'avoir ainsi entravé la concurrence, une vision contestée par l'ats.

"L'accord à l'amiable passé entre le secrétariat de la COMCO et l'ats met fin à une procédure qui aura duré plus de quatre ans. L'enquête a montré que l'agence, entre fin 2008 et début 2010, a conclu des contrats assortis de rabais exclusifs avec un cercle choisi d'entreprises alémaniques, communique la COMCO mardi.

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Drafting A Plain Packs Consultation Response (Again)

Published on 2014-07-29 12:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


If you've a vague suspicion you've seen this blog title before, you'd be correct.

Yes, we went through all this back in April 2012 when the daft exercise in appeasing tax-sponging tobacco controllers was first floated. Back then, many of you shared your responses with me which were overall quite excellent, and I do believe that our input was one of the reasons the margin of "detailed responses" was only 53/43 in favour.

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A temperance manifesto for 2015

Published on 2014-07-29 03:53:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA) is planning to hold a 'day of action' on September 5th to raise awareness of the neo-temperance lobby. The 'action' appears to revolve around a few state-funded pressure groups messing about on Twitter. Their slogan/hashtag is #21billion, which refers to the supposed 'cost to the economy' of alcohol misuse. This is a bogus figure. Aside from being created in 2003, when alcohol consumption was considerably higher than it is today, its largest elements are not costs to the economy, but are 'emotional impact costs' and private costs. None of these costs are balanced by any benefits, thereby rendering the figure meaningless. See Full Fact for a breakdown.

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Ball And Chain

Published on 2014-07-28 19:02:00.
Website: Frank Davis


What are smoking bans supposed to achieve? I think they’re supposed to ‘help’ people quit smoking. Actually, I don’t think it’s about ‘helping’ people quit smoking: it’s about making them quit smoking. They make people quit smoking, by disallowing smoking … Continue reading →

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Stop! By Order Of The Council

Published on 2014-07-28 10:29:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote



I thought you might be interested in some classic slippery slope opportunism from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

Now, I've mentioned before that the government's plan to ban smoking in cars  - you know, that's the Conservative-led government which came to power in 2010 promising to roll back our liberties and challenge the nanny state - carries very sinister precedents that anyone interested in freedom should abhor.

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Sitôt placardées, les affichesde l'Office fédéral de la Santé Publique choquent déjà

Published on 2014-07-28 10:11:58.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: " Les affiches de la nouvelle campagne de prévention contre le sida «LOVE LIFE - ne regrette rien» viennent d'être placardées. Leurs opposants montent déjà au front et exigent leur retrait.

"Depuis lundi 28 juillet 2014,, les affiches de la nouvelle campagne de prévention contre le sida sont placardées dans toute la Suisse. Cinq couples appellent à une sexualité axée sur le plaisir et la responsabilité. Mais des jeunes et leurs parents, choqués par ces photos, exigent leur retrait.

"L'Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP) avait lancé la campagne en mai, en invitant des couples à participer à un «casting». Quelque 300 personnes ont postulé et cinq couples, entre 20 et 52 ans, ont été choisis, a indiqué l'office lundi. Ils ont posé dans une situation explicite devant l'objectif de la photographe Diana Scheunemann."

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Evidence from UK Casts Doubt on Assertion that Electronic Cigarettes are a Gateway to Youth Smoking Addiction

Published on 2014-07-28 03:10:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


The Centers for Disease Control has asserted that electronic cigarette use among youth is a gateway to a lifetime of addiction to smoking. This assertion, which has been picked up by politicians and health groups throughout the country, is being used to justify extreme proposals, such as those to ban e-cigarette advertising and to ban all e-cigarette flavorings.

But is there any truth to the assertion that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to youth smoking? New evidence from the UK suggests not. Despite the widespread proliferation of electronic cigarettes throughout England during the past few years, and a concomitant increase in youth experimentation with these products, smoking rates among 11 to 15-year olds has declined to an historic low of just 3%.

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Tapage nocturne à Genève: technologie policière aberrante !

Published on 2014-07-27 17:35:24.
Website: Accueil


20 Minutes: "Une app policière contrôle le tapage de 900 terrasses (à Genève)

"Les forces de l’ordre se sont dotées d’un outil en ligne afin de lutter plus efficacement contre les nuisances sonores générées par les bars. Le projet ne fait pas l’unanimité.

"On ne peut plus s’en passer.» Un an après son entrée en service, le programme Sonitus intervient dans 100% des opérations de la police municipale genevoise liées au tapage nocturne autour des cafés, assure Antonio Pizzoferrato, chef de la sécurité.

"L’outil, inédit, se présente sous la forme d’un plan électronique sur lequel toutes les terrasses sont répertoriées. Des appréciations sur chacune d’entre elles y sont consignées, alimentées par les rondes des agents (APM) ou les plaintes du voisinage."

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Plain Packaging Challenged

Published on 2014-07-27 16:41:24.
Website: Frank Davis


I’ve always been a bit puzzled how governments can erase product brands, and replace them with its own messages. Other people think the same: In a note to investors in tobacco stocks Exane BNP Paribas said it had taken legal … Continue reading →

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Les "écopopistes" méritent l'appellation de "racistes écolos"

Published on 2014-07-27 06:11:25.
Website: Accueil


La Tribune de Genève: " Le Ministère public de Brugg-Surzach (AG) a rejeté une plainte d'Ecopop. Traiter les auteurs de l'initiative de «racistes écolos» est «curieux» mais pas injurieux.

"Le conseiller national Roland Rino Büchel (UDC/SG) a le droit de traiter de «racistes écolos» les auteurs de l'initiative Ecopop. Ces propos sont certes «curieux et irréfléchis», mais pas injurieux, estime le Ministère public de Brugg-Surzach (AG), qui rejette une plainte d'Ecopop.

«Je suis heureux que les racistes en Birkenstock et académiciens confus du comité d'initiative Ecopop aient subi un revers de la part du groupe parlementaire UDC», avait déclaré Roland Rino Büchel le 10 juin lors du débat sur l'initiative au Conseil national. Quelques jours plus tôt, il avait fait la même déclaration dans la presse alémanique.

"Andreas Thommen, directeur du comité de l'association écologie et population (Ecopop), s'était senti atteint dans son honneur et a porté plainte pour calomnie et diffamation.

"Le Ministère public argovien compétent n'est pas de cet avis et rejette la plainte, rapporte le SonntagsBlick. "

Full article

The high street is dead, long live the high street

Published on 2014-07-27 05:26:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Good grief.

English councils propose 'Tesco tax'
A group of local councils in England is formally asking the government for new powers to tax large supermarkets.

BBC News has learned that Derby City Council has called for the right to bring in a levy as a "modest" effort to ensure supermarket spending "re-circulates" in local communities.

The council wants the right to impose a levy on large supermarkets, retain the money raised, and use it to help small businesses.
Let's set aside the strong suspicion that the money raised will never find its way towards 'small businesses' and will instead be funnelled into the half-baked schemes of the cranks who dominate local government (who, by the way, have done as much as anyone to ruin local retailers by jacking up parking fees and pedestrianising town centres). Instead, let's focus on the basic idea that successful businesses should be looted in order to prop up failing businesses.

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The Calm Before The Storm

Published on 2014-07-26 20:36:32.
Website: Frank Davis


AEP in the Telegraph: There must be an extremely high risk that the Kremlin will defy Western sanctions and launch “asymmetric retaliation” on the ground, overthrowing the post-Cold War settlement altogether. Markets seem strangely insouciant as the geopolitical order of … Continue reading →

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La France, en route vers la censure d'Internet

Published on 2014-07-26 16:42:59.
Website: Accueil


Le Point.fr: "Le pays des Lumières, havre des libertés, met en place petit à petit un système de blocage administratif des sites web, sans intervention de la justice.

"C'est le genre d'article qu'on espérait ne jamais devoir écrire... Les députés ont voté mardi soir en commission des Lois le blocage administratif de sites faisant l'apologie du terrorisme, et ce, sans intervention de la justice. L'Assemblée devra se prononcer en plénière mi-septembre sur l'ensemble du projet de loi de lutte contre le terrorisme. Si le but est évidemment louable, la mesure est largement critiquée, dans la droite ligne des blocages prévus pour lutter contre la pédopornographie.

"Quelques heures avant le vote, une commission spécialisée avait durement contesté le projet du ministre de l'Intérieur, Bernard Cazeneuve. Dans sa recommandation, cette commission de réflexion sur le droit et les libertés à l'âge du numérique, créée en février pour éclairer les parlementaires sur ces questions, rappelle que "le préalable d'une décision judiciaire apparaît comme un principe essentiel, de nature à respecter l'ensemble des intérêts en présence, lorsque est envisagé le blocage de l'accès à des contenus illicites sur des réseaux numériques". 

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Les festivals pourraient-ils se passer du soutien financier de l'industrie du tabac?

Published on 2014-07-26 12:43:33.
Website: Accueil


RTS - La Première - Forum: " 71% des festivaliers seraient prêts à payer deux francs de plus pour leur billet Paléo si le festival renonçait au sponsoring des cigarettiers. C'est le résultat d'un sondage mené cette semaine par la Ligue pulmonaire auprès de 830 participants au festival. Pour la Ligue pulmonaire, le festival pourrait donc se passer du soutien financier de l'industrie du tabac. Faut-il interdire le sponsoring des festivals par l'industrie du tabac? Le nouveau projet de loi pour la prévention du tabagisme actuellement en consultation ne va pas aussi loin. Le débat entre Grégoire Vittoz, porte-parole de la Ligue pulmonaire et Claude Miffon, vice-président de Publicité Suisse, membre de la direction des affaires publiques et juridiques de Publicité Suisse."

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Ban Mars Bars!

Published on 2014-07-26 11:54:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


There's an interesting comment underneath a Times article about how Mars confectioners are wary of the precedent that plain packaging will represent in terms of stripping companies of their intellectual property (because it will do, no matter how much the tobacco control industry pretend otherwise).
EnglishRoseWhat we should be doing is preventing sale of all Mars and similar products. They are not needed for good health. People should eat only healthy natural unprocessed foods to ensure their own good mental and physical health. We can start by ensuring there are no vending machines of any kind on any state property and increase the number of free water fountains.Are there really people around who believe this? Or is this just a subtle parody of the modern self-installed health 'prefect' we are increasingly suffering?

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The Party’s Over

Published on 2014-07-25 17:33:27.
Website: Frank Davis


I’ve never been on a cruise ship. But to the best of my knowledge life on one of them is more or less one non-stop party, from dawn to dusk. But it seems that now the party’s over. Cruise Lines to … Continue reading →

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Cinéforom: Les permanents de l'assistanat se subventionnent eux-mêmes !

Published on 2014-07-25 16:34:20.
Website: Accueil


RTS - La Première - Forum: "Le système de financement public du cinéma romand est-il menacé?

"Pour sa troisième année, les cantons romands versent leur subvention au cinéma indépendant dans un pot commun, un système de péréquation unique en Suisse. La fondation Cinéforom redistribue ensuite cette subvention aux créateurs romands, maisons de production et cinéastes. Mais la subvention du canton de Genève a été bloquée par la Commission des finances du Grand Conseil. Par Pierre-Antoine Preti, avec le débat entre Jacob Berger, cinéaste, et François Baertschi, secrétaire général du Mouvement Citoyens Genevois (MCG)."

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Loi sur les taxis: un référendum contre "le monopole étatique"

Published on 2014-07-25 07:20:06.
Website: Accueil


"La nouvelle loi genevoise sur les taxis attaquée par un référendum

"Les chauffeurs de taxi ont jusqu'au 24 septembre 2014 pour réunir les 500 (?) signatures nécessaires.

"A Genève, des chauffeurs de taxi lancent un référendum contre la nouvelle loi sur les taxis de service public et autres transports professionnels de personnes publiée vendredi dans la «Feuille d'avis officielle». Ils ont jusqu'au 24 septembre pour récolter les 500 signatures exigées.

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Simon Chapman: tedious self-plagiarist

Published on 2014-07-24 23:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


Simon Chapman is on a one-man mission to pretend that plain packaging is working, hardly surprising since he's got a book coming out and the policy represents his last chance to become a footnote in history.

The latest part of his counter-offensive is a letter to the FT in which he argues that although the smoking rate has been falling at roughly the same rate for years in absolute terms, it has sped up in relative terms. This, of course, is just a mathematical inevitability if you have a declining number of smokers. If two per cent of the population give up smoking every three years, that two per cent is obviously going to be a larger proportion of smokers if smokers make up 15 per cent, rather than 40 per cent, of the population.

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Explosion In Fake Cigarettes Since Plain Packaging

Published on 2014-07-24 09:10:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Via Breitbart London, there's not much further comment required.
Plain Cigarette Packaging Boosts Counterfeit and Smuggling: According to a Channel Seven News report about a raid on illegal cigarette sales in a Sydney market, this idea has boosted smuggling and other nefarious activities by about 40 per cent and driven up seizures of sticks from 82 million in 2012 to 200 million last year. "Authorities blame the surge in counterfeit cigarettes on the introduction of plain packaging two years ago."

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What's Wrong Here? Michigan Medical Society Opposes Bill to Ban E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

Published on 2014-07-24 04:25:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


The Michigan Medical Society has opposed legislation that would protect the public's health by prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

If that sounds strange, I'll repeat it so that you realize this is accurate.

The Michigan Medical Society - representing the state's physicians - is opposed to legislation that would do nothing more or less than ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Even the e-cigarette industry itself supports this legislation. How ironic, then, that the state's physicians, along with other "anti-smoking" groups, are opposing this bill, which was enacted by the legislature and awaits the governor's signature. The "anti-smoking" and "health" groups are urging the governor to veto the bill.

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Soda tax chumps

Published on 2014-07-23 14:48:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


If, like me, you smile inwardly every time a moron uses the term 'Big Soda', you've got a treat in store. In November, the city of San "Ban" Francisco will be voting on whether to bring in a punitively high tax on fizzy drinks. That means four months of deranged campaigning in the Bay Area to look forward to.

As an hors d'oeuvre, check out the Choose Health SF website. Its blog and FAQ sections offer particularly good sport. Anybody with a rational mind left San Francisco years ago, leaving a population of quacks, hypochondriacs, drug casualties and champagne socialists. It shows. There is barely a sentence on this website that does not rely, at best, on logical fallacies. More commonly, it relies on bizarre assertions and free association.

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Whatever You Do, Don't Think Of The Children!

Published on 2014-07-23 10:28:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


It seems that Simon Chapman is a trifle irritated by my pointing out that, despite plain packaging, a long term decline in smoking amongst 12 to 17 year olds in Australia has been replaced by a massive increase of 36%.


As I mentioned the other day, this would equate to the addition of around 150,000 teen smokers since the previous survey in 2010. Not a great result for a policy designed to stop kids from smoking, I think you'll agree.

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D.C. District Court Invalidates TPSAC Menthol Report Because of Conflicts of Interest of Panel Members

Published on 2014-07-23 04:55:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


A D.C. District Court judge has invalidated the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) report on menthol because of severe financial conflicts of interest of several of its panel members.

The decision comes in response to a lawsuit brought by Lorillard on two grounds. First, the companies alleged that three TPSAC members (Drs. Benowitz, Henningfield, and Samet) were conflicted because "they have made tens of thousands of dollars as paid expert witnesses in litigation against tobacco products manufacturers." Second, the companies alleged that Drs. Benowitz, Henningfield, and Samet are conflicted because of "their continuing financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies that make smoking-cessation products."

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Leur but: polluer le plus possible!

Published on 2014-07-22 11:39:57.
Website: Accueil


Le Matin: " Ils détestent Obama et sa politique climatique. Pour le démontrer des Américains trafiquent leur pick-up pour qu’il dégage une grosse fumée toxique…

"Intrigué par une vague de fumée noire dégoûtante qui se répand sur la Toile, Slate est parti à la rencontre d’un homme du Wisconsin. Il vend tout le nécessaire permettant de transformer sa voiture pour qu’elle... pollue le plus possible. Et explique les motivations de ses étranges clients. «Beaucoup détestent Obama. Si le président est pour l’environnement, pour ci ou pour ça, alors ils sont contre. Par principe. Ils balancent cette merde de leur camion, c’est leur façon de faire un bras d’honneur. Tu veux de l’air pur et une empreinte carbone minimale? Disent-ils. Va te faire voir!»"

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Know A Decent Pub Garden? Shhh, Don't Tell

Published on 2014-07-22 11:39:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


Via ASH Scotland, this written question exchange between a Green MSP and Scotland's anti-smoker in chief is highly amusing (I think even he was probably struggling not to laugh when he read it).



So, apparently, telling smokers where they can smoke comfortably is now considered to be tobacco advertising by the Green Party. In fact, I think I might have transgressed this imaginary law myself by promoting a pub in Bognor last year.

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After Years of Research, the Worst that E-Cigarette Opponents Can Say Is: "They are Not Harmless"

Published on 2014-07-22 04:26:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


While there is still a lot we do not know about the exact magnitude of any long-term risks associated with electronic cigarette use, vapers should be quite reassured that after at least five years of research into the health effects of vaping, the worst that electronic cigarette opponents can say is: "Well ... they're not harmless."

In a news article, SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) attempted to demonize electronic cigarettes, providing a quite biased and one-sided look at the risks associated with these products. The article fails to report the results of surveys and clinical trials, which have shown that e-cigarettes are a bona fide smoking cessation aid that have helped thousands of smokers to quit.

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Plain packaging porky pies

Published on 2014-07-22 04:13:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist


In the last post—about the deceitful claim that there has been a "huge drop" in smoking rates since plain packaging was introduced in Australia—I mentioned that no UK newspapers had been dumb enough to report this propaganda. That was true at the time of writing, but, in the end, the Daily Mail and the Financial Times fell for it.

The Mail will print anything, but I expect more from the FT so I was pleased to see that they have at least published a couple of letters to help put the record straight...

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Boum ! NETFLIX débarque en Suisse !

Published on 2014-07-21 19:37:52.
Website: Accueil


ATS: " Netflix confirme son arrivée en septembre en France et cinq autres pays

"Le service américain de vidéo à la demande Netflix a confirmé lundi son arrivée en France ainsi que dans cinq autres pays européens en septembre, en marge de ses résultats trimestriels.

"En septembre, nous lancerons Netflix en Allemagne, France, Autriche, Suisse, Belgique et au Luxembourg", écrit le groupe dans sa lettre trimestrielle à ses actionnaires.

"Ce lancement sur des marchés comptant plus de 60 millions de ménages avec un accès (internet) à haut débit va augmenter de manière importante notre présence européenne et amener le marché international que nous pouvons toucher à plus de 180 millions de ménages avec un accès haut débit", ajoute le groupe."

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Stupidity Pays

Published on 2014-07-21 14:07:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote


I originally thought this news article was so absurd that it will be overturned and become a non-story pretty soon, but it's still staggering to think that it actually happened.
MIAMI — A jury in northwestern Florida awarded a staggering $23 billion judgment late Friday against the country’s second-largest tobacco company for causing the death of a chain smoker who died of lung cancer at the age of 36. The company, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, promised a prompt appeal. Michael Johnson Sr. died in 1996 after smoking for more than 20 years. In 2006, his widow, Cynthia Robinson, of Pensacola, sued R. J. Reynolds the maker of the Kool brand cigarettes her husband had smoked, arguing that the company had deliberately concealed the health hazards its product caused. The four-week trial ended Wednesday. The jury deliberated for 18 hours over two days, first awarding $17 million in compensatory damages and then emerging at 10 p.m. Friday with a $23.6 billion punitive judgment.Yes, that's billion with a 'b'. Or, to put it more clearly, $23,617,000,000.

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In the Face of Contrary Evidence, the CDC Still Denies that Electronic Cigarettes Can Help Anyone to Quit Smoking

Published on 2014-07-21 03:19:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary


In her article on CDC's "Tips from Former Smokers" anti-smoking campaign, Nancy Wride of Elements Behavioral Health made an interesting observation. On its web site describing a variety of possible strategies to quit smoking, the CDC does not list electronic cigarettes. Wride therefore asked the CDC why electronic cigarettes are not included on its web site as a potential smoking cessation aid.

The CDC's response:

"while we have heard from some former smokers who say e-cigarettes helped them quit, there is not yet any conclusive scientific evidence that e-cigarettes can work as a cessation aid."

Full article

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