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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.

#Brexit Fallout

Published on 2016-06-30 19:07:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Life is still weep-inducingly busy at Puddlecote Inc. Building work means we are interviewing prospective staff in our vehicles, while the 19 new bespoke vehicles we ordered are starting to arrive and being kitted out by our fleet guys. Brochures are out to the printers but staff nerves are frayed at such a lot happening all at the same time.

It's exhausting stuff which is why I've had no energy (or inclination sadly) to write anything here since last week. And what a week I've mostly missed!

I'd planned to spend the EU Referendum night at the IEA for an all-nighter but slumped in a sofa around 6:30pm on Thursday with no thought whatsoever of making the trek up to Westminster. However, with nothing on TV I decided at around 9pm to drag myself there just to say hello for an hour or so before getting a kebab on the way home and collapsing.

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Alcohol guidelines debate

Published on 2016-06-30 10:28:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

There was a debate about the new alcohol guidelines in a committee room of the House of Commons on Monday. Here's the opening speech from Byron Davies...

I want to be clear from the outset. I recognise the necessity for sensible and effective guidelines to help consumers—our constituents—to make better informed decisions about the amount of alcohol they consume. Ministers were right to ask the chief medical officer to carry out a review of the guidelines, and it is important that the guidance reflects the most up-to-date scientific evidence that is available across the world and that that is properly communicated to consumers.

I declare an interest as a member of the all-party beer group—unashamedly, given that 30 million adults across the UK drink beer each year and 15 million of us visit the pub each week. But I also know that this issue is a matter of concern for anyone who enjoys a drink and wants to drink responsibly.

We have made great strides in this country in promoting responsible enjoyment of alcohol through a partnership approach with industry. That achieves much more than a draconian approach to taxation or heavy-handed regulation. As a Conservative, I want to treat adults as adults and let them have the freedom to make informed choices about how they live, what they eat and drink and how they enjoy their lives. As a responsible Conservative, I also know that industry has a role to play in promoting responsibility through advertising campaigns, voluntary labelling initiatives and provision of consumer information. We have achieved a great deal, successfully reducing alcohol harm for more than 15 years.

The Office for National Statistics confirms that binge drinking has fallen by 25% since 2007. According to Public Health England, alcohol-related and alcohol-specific deaths have fallen since 2008 by 7% and 4% respectively. The Office for National Statistics confirms that alcohol-related violent crime has fallen by 40% since 2007. The number of children drinking alcohol has fallen by more than 50% since 2003 and is currently at the lowest rate on record. According to Public Health England, under-18 hospital admissions due to alcohol have fallen by 41% in the past six years.


We should not be complacent. It is essential that public health advice keeps pace with advances in scientific understanding. Crucially, the communication of any guidance from the state must be seen to be above reproach and carry the confidence of industry and the public alike. However, I felt this debate was needed because I and several other hon. Members are concerned that the process by which the chief medical officer reaches their conclusion is flawed and has, in some ways, been hijacked by a group of campaigners with a clear anti-alcohol, total abstinence agenda.

Views are strongly held on this subject, which divides scientific opinion and the medical community. I recognise that that puts the CMO in a difficult position in making judgments about risk and in communicating sensible guidelines to consumers. We are bombarded with health advice from all quarters in this 24-hour social media age, and it is vital that anything published in an official capacity as advice from the Government’s chief medical officer is properly scrutinised and beyond reproach. I argue that the process that has been adopted, the clear conflicts of interest of the panel of so-called experts deployed to deliberate on these matters and the biased presentation of the findings have left a crisis of confidence in the new CMO guidelines among consumers, the media and industry. The Minister needs to address that in her response to the public consultation.

Let me deal with those points in turn. First, on the process adopted to undertake this review, the Department of Health guidance for expert group members states clearly:

“It is important to avoid any impression that expert group members are being influenced or appearing to be influenced by their private interests in the exercise of their public duties. All members therefore must declare any personal or business interests relevant to the work of the expert groups which may or may not be perceived by a reasonable member of the public to influence their judgment.”

Members of the guidelines development group set up to advise the CMO have been active policy advocates during the time in which the guidelines have been developed. Thanks to the investigative journalism of Sean O’Neill, chief reporter at The Times, it has come to light that an academic who played a key role in drawing up the controversial new safe drinking limits, Professor Gerard 

Hastings, did not even declare his links to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, a registered charity that receives most of its income from the Alliance House Foundation, which states that its aim is spreading the principle of total abstinence from alcoholic drinks. That is not quite putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank, but it is not far off.

Policy advocates such as Professor Hastings have taken strident campaigning positions. Many have a temperance or total abstinence axe to grind. They are clearly not neutral or, I argue, objective in their assessment of the costs and benefits of alcohol consumption. Indeed, the chief medical officer for England, when giving evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the proposed new alcohol guidelines, admitted that the experts “found remarkably little evidence about the impact of guidelines, but we did not do them to have direct impact so much as to inform people and provide the basis for those conversations and for any campaigns that, for instance, Public Health England and others might run in the future.”

One member of the behavioural expert group, Dr Theresa Marteau, writing in the British Medical Journal, went further and stated that the new guidelines are “unlikely to have a direct impact on drinking

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The Stolen Future

Published on 2016-06-29 23:06:07.
Website: Frank Davis

In among all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that has gone on for the past few days, one poster caught my attention: it read “You Stole Our Future From Us.” It’s not a poster I could ever have written, … Continue reading →

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Größtes deutsches Raucherforum wird 10 Jahre

Published on 2016-06-29 20:40:11.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.

Forum "Rauchen und Genuss" feiert Jubiläum Das „Forum Rauchen und Genuss“ besteht in dieser Form seit Juni 2006 und kann daher diesen Monat auf ein ganzes Jahrzehnt seiner Existenz zurückblicken. Fast genauso lange ist es bereits unter der Adresse forum.netzwerk-rauchen.de zu erreichen. Im Mittelpunkt der rund 100.000 Beiträge stehen politische, gesellschaftliche und gesetzliche Fragen.

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Stress Relief

Published on 2016-06-28 23:07:07.
Website: Frank Davis

Guido Fawkes reported recently that David Cameron was seen smoking on the House of Commons terrace. This isn’t big news, since he’s admitted he hasn’t managed to entirely stop smoking. More interesting, however, has been the news that his wife … Continue reading →

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Detroit Wayne County Mental Health Authority Issues Fraudulent Public Statements on Risks of Cigarette Smoking

Published on 2016-06-28 11:31:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In an action reminiscent of the tobacco industry of the 1970's, the Detroit Wayne County Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) has issued one of the most fraudulent claims about the risks of cigarette smoking as I have ever seen.

The DWMHA created a billboard in which it told the public that smoking is no more dangerous than vaping. "E-qually dangerous," the billboard asserts.

The Rest of the Story

There is abundant scientific evidence that vaping, which has caused no documented chronic disease or death in any identified individual, is safer than smoking, which kills more than 400,000 people each year, causes chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and contains more than 10,000 chemicals, of which more than 60 are proven human carcinogens.

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Tour de vis dans nos parcs ...

Published on 2016-06-28 01:17:51.
Website: Accueil

(w) Parmi les dernières interdictions en date promulguées par nos autorités municipales, trois nouvelles figurent dans la dernière série: elles frappent les broches en plein air (promotion du véganisme ou souci du réchauffement climatique ?), le passage des vélocipèdes (usure du gravier ?), détention et consommation de boissons alcooliques (risque de collisions entre piétons ivres ? ) et musique (pour rétablir l'égalité avec les malentendants ?)

En revanche, les conversations à voix basse et les déambulations en chaussures de cuir (d'origine animale) sont encore tolérées., de même que l'ingestion et la mastication de pain de mie ...sans gluten:-)

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The Class War on Smokers

Published on 2016-06-27 23:10:09.
Website: Frank Davis

ZeroHedge reporting Deutsche bank: It’s worth looking at the voting split in the UK’s EU referendum based on polls compiled by Lord Ashcroft to get an idea of the disenfranchisement. In terms of socio-economic groups, 57% of ABs (upper/middle class … Continue reading →

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Four More Lawsuits Filed Against FDA to Block its E-Cigarette Deeming Regulations

Published on 2016-06-27 10:37:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Last month, I reported that Nicopure Labs, a maker of e-liquids and vaping devices, filed a lawsuit against the FDA challenging its deeming regulations, claiming that they are in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and the First Amendment. Today, I report that four more lawsuits have been filed against the agency; all seek an injunction against enforcement of various aspects of the regulations or seek to overturn the regulations in their entirety.

1. Lost Art Liquids, LLC has filed a challenge to the deeming regulations under the APA, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the First Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment. 

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17,410,742 UK Smokers

Published on 2016-06-26 23:23:31.
Website: Frank Davis

Well, that’s enough excitement for one week. In fact, enough excitement for an entire year. But has it got us anywhere nearer repealing smoking bans? I think it has, in an important way. The wave of European smoking bans over … Continue reading →

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Towards independence: thoughts on the referendum

Published on 2016-06-26 14:05:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

As a supporter of leaving the European Union, I did not expect to win Thursday's referendum. Or, at least, I did not expect to win until 10.15pm on Thursday night when I heard reports of an unusually high turnout from council estates, at which point I immediately put £20 on Leave at 6/1. It seemed inconceivable to me that people who had gone years without voting - or had never voted at all - would pour out of their homes to keep Britain in the EU.

And so it proved. Much has already been written about how the 'dispossessed' and the 'deprived' gave a bloody nose to their supposed betters. The left is already rewriting history to make it appear that the working class were voting against 'austerity', against Cameron, against neoliberalism - against anything but the EU. Nonsense. If that were true, we would have spent the last year with Ed Miliband as prime minister.

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Chaos For Months

Published on 2016-06-25 23:03:50.
Website: Frank Davis

I’m beginning to wonder whether David Cameron is really a closet Brexiter. First of all he goes to Brussels and very publicly fails to get a “new deal” for Britain. Then he conducts a campaign of fear and threats that … Continue reading →

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Ignore the children

Published on 2016-06-23 14:42:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

In a list of freedoms I would go to the wall for, the freedom of children to order takeaway food to the school gates is pretty low down. When I was a lad, I don’t remember anybody ordering takeaways from school, but then I was lucky enough to do my A-levels before the government forced dinner ladies to serve Jamie Oliver’s horrible food.

According to the attention-seeking campaign group the Royal Society for Public Health, school takeaways are now an issue and should be banned. ‘Public health group wants to ban something’ is a dog-bites-man story and so the RSPH have spiced things up by publishing a survey of teenagers which shows partial support for their cause, hence the Guardian headline ‘Ban takeaway deliveries to schools to stem obesity, children urge’.

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Let's Vote Leave, Eh?

Published on 2016-06-23 05:59:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

So here we are then, EU referendum day.

By now you should have worked out that I intend to vote Leave, but in case you missed it, here is why.
[M]y objection to the EU has always been based on the handicapping effect of never-ending regulation that is impossible to avoid from such an institution. If you dedicate a few hectares of a major European city to thousands of highly-paid people whose livelihood depends on dreaming up new regulations, what else are they going to do but regulate? But, I hear you say, regulations keep us safe don't they? We need them. Well up to a point yes, but that point passed decades ago in the case of the EU. I've written about EU regulations in my industry before which have absolutely nothing to do with safety whatsoever, but instead impose unnecessary costs on businesses, inhibit employment and push up prices for consumers. We are well beyond the time where what we actually need is an institution which deregulates, but instead we pay billions to the EU to turn the ratchet further without ever bothering to repeal anything that is unhelpful. Anyone who has kept a close eye on the corrupt shenanigans surrounding the Tobacco Products Directive - particularly towards e-cigs where nothing has been made safer at all, but where innovation and consumer satisfaction has been thrown to the dogs - will attest to that. The message that Brexit the Movie conveyed wasn't even a new one. It's incontestable that free markets, competition, light regulation and transparency are the most successful drivers of growth, employment, social mobility and betterment of wealth and disposable income. This has always been the case and no amount of governments pretending they "create jobs", by handing back only some of the taxes they take which could have been paid directly to workers, will change that.Heavy regulation does, though, protect big businesses at the expense of small and medium-sized ones; props up failing business models; inhibits employment; strangles innovation; and raises prices to consumers. I was commenting after the first screening of Brexit: The Movie which I now understand has attracted over 3 million views in all formats. If you haven't yet seen it, I can highly recommend you do**, so here it is.

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A Review Of A Billion Lives ... I Didn't Hate It

Published on 2016-06-21 22:01:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Last time I wrote about the A Billion Lives film it attracted quite a bit of reaction. In fact it attracted the third most numerous comments in this blog's history.  I was also called all sorts of names by both smokers and vapers, which probably means I wasn't that far wrong in what I was saying.

Well, I finally got to see it as a preamble to the Global Forum on Nicotine conference on the 16th of June in an incredibly dark Warsaw Kinoteca cinema. It's not your usual multiplex, situated as it is in the old communist Palace of Culture building.

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Tough Times At Puddlecote Inc

Published on 2016-06-21 19:14:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

I was at the Global Forum on Nicotine at the back end of last week which featured a showing of A Billion Lives. As many readers will remember, I was not enamoured with the the trailer in the slightest last year so I shall be writing a review about it at some point when I get time.

Time being the operative word because the Puddlecote Inc re-organisation/refurbishment is in full flow with a hell of a lot going on at the moment. It was expected that we were going to endure a very tough few months to deliver a necessary office building project and a large new piece of business all at the same time, but needs must and my team is doing incredibly well under some pretty tough conditions.

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Guest post: State government not seeing the light on vaping

Published on 2016-06-21 13:11:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Australian anti-wowser Terry Barnes recently wrote an article about e-cigarettes for the Herald-Sun which is behind a paywall. I'm reprinting it here with his permission... 
As its disregard for public opinion and due process over East West Link, sky rail and the CFA’s enterprise bargaining agreement show, the Andrews Government does things its way.
The government’s modus operandi is now very well established. Consult minimally or not at all, make decisions affecting significantly the lives of Victorians, then announce them to a supposedly grateful state as “fair and reasonable” — because the government itself says so. Public opinion and evidence to the contrary are brushed aside, as the government knows best.

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The pub champion?

Published on 2016-06-20 12:27:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

There's an interesting article in the Morning Advertiser today about CAMRA's misguided idea of preventing pubs being sold as anything other than pubs. As I have argued before, the Assets of Community Value scheme addresses the symptom rather than the cause of the pub industry's malaise.

Initially intended to protect historic pubs, CAMRA now wants all pubs included in the scheme, starting with Otley, West Yorkshire where nearly every pub has been listed regardless of the views of their owners.

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Pediatrics "Gateway" Article Author Hiding Conflicts of Interest with Big Pharma; Drug Companies Have Gotten More than their Money's Worth

Published on 2016-06-20 10:01:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Last week, I discussed an article published in Pediatrics which is going to deal a devastating blow to the vaping industry because it wrongly concludes that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking among youth. Evidence like this is the death knell to vaping, as perhaps it should be if it were true.

The problem, however, is that as I explained, the Pediatrics study cannot conclude that e-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking because it measured only e-cigarette experimentation at baseline and was unable to document that a single nonsmoking vaper actually became addicted to vaping. Nor was the study able to document that a single nonsmoking vaper actually used a product that contained nicotine. Since the Monitoring the Future study suggested that a solid majority of youth e-cigarette users do not use nicotine products, this is a major study limitation.

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Jamie Vardy on caffeine and nicotine

Published on 2016-06-18 10:13:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

From The Telegraph
England and Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been photographed holding a can of Red Bull and a can of snus. Outrage has ensued at The Telegraph...

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Democracy Rules

Published on 2016-06-18 10:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

You may have worked out by now what my stance on the EU referendum is, but if not watch this because I think it's really very good.

Toby Young presents the democratic case for leaving the EU.

You can also read the transcript here to pull out quotes.

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RTS - La Première: "Comment lutter contre la "science poubelle"?

Published on 2016-06-17 01:41:25.
Website: Accueil

RTS - La Première - CQFD: "La science apporte des preuves scientifiques aux questions que les chercheurs se posent. Malheureusement, ces preuves ne sont pas toujours aussi solides qu’on le croit. On a vu des études a priori sérieuses et qui ont été publiées dans des grandes revues scientifiques être désavouées et retirées quelques années plus tard. Comment empêcher les publications des "mauvaises sciences"?

"L'éclairage de Nadia Elia, médecin épidémiologiste, spécialiste en santé publique, chercheuse dans le service d’anesthésie aux HUG et chargée d’enseignement à l'institut de santé globale de l’Universté de Genève. Par Adrien Zerbini."

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Gerard Hastings in the spotlight

Published on 2016-06-16 12:27:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The Times continues to dig into the motley crew who drew up the new alcohol guidelines. Today, it's 'Mad' Gerard Hastings in the spotlight...

Safe-drinking adviser had temperance link
An academic who played a key role in drawing up the controversial new safe drinking limits did not declare his links to a group funded by the temperance movement.
...Professor Hastings of Stirling University completed a register of interests form for the Department of Health but did not reveal that he held a paid position as an expert advisor to the Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS).

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Don't decriminalise, legalise

Published on 2016-06-16 10:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The Royal Society of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health have called for the possession of drugs for personal use to be decriminalised. This is being widely reported as a call to legalise drugs. It's not, but it should be. At the Telegraph I explain what I would do. Have a read.

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End Of An Error

Published on 2016-06-16 09:00:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

The Guardian has reported on the departure of the Faculty of Public Health's nagger-in-Chief John Ashton. Staying true to the ethos of 'public health' - and comparing the country's kids to "livestock" - he has marked the occasion by being a pompous sneering prick.
The government should give parents lessons on how to raise their children, according to Britain’s leading public health expert.I'd say he's going out with a bang but regulars here will remember one of his even more arrogant and condescending moments one Saturday back in 2014.

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Why Must the American Cancer Society Continue to Lie to the Public? This Time, They Do So in Coordinated Fashion

Published on 2016-06-16 01:10:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In a letter to the editor published last week in the Bradenton Herald, an individual identified as being with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network tells the public that the Bishop-Cole amendment would "strip FDA's authority to review new products, ones becoming increasingly popular with youth, like e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah." She goes on to urge Florida's Senator Nelson not to "fall for the industry's latest trick to avoid critical FDA oversight of these addictive and potentially lethal products."

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It's not beer advertising when we do it

Published on 2016-06-15 13:06:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Big Alcohol Exposed, part of the web of EU-funded temperance groups, is running a ludicrously ambitious campaign to crowd fund an alternative sponsor for Everton FC. Everton is currently sponsored by Chang beer and the temperance lobby want to use people power to outbid the beer company and replace it with a seemingly random Merseyside hair salon.

The only snag is that this will cost $23,000,000 and they have so far managed to raise just $1,705. The use of dollars is a clue that this is not an entirely British initiative and the crowdfunding page confirms that it was the teetotallers at Big Alcohol Exposed who initiated the project...

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ASH Attempts To Grind Vaping Into The Dirt

Published on 2016-06-15 11:44:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

I've written a lot recently about how ASH have been furiously lobbying in favour of the restrictions placed on e-cigs by the TPD (see here, here, here, and here).

Their latest huge effort managed to sway Labour into opposing Lord Callanan's fatal motion and downgrade it to one merely expressing regret. You'd think Arnott and her pals would be happy with that, wouldn't you?

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Loi sur le tabac renvoyée par les Etats

Published on 2016-06-14 22:53:58.
Website: Accueil

(ATS) "La publicité pour le tabac ne devrait pas être restreinte. Par 28 voix contre 15, le Conseil des Etats a rejeté mardi les propositions du Conseil fédéral en lui demandant de revoir largement sa copie.

Le Conseil national doit encore se prononcer. La loi sur les produits du tabac avait déjà été fortement contestée en consultation, les milieux de la santé la jugeant trop timorée, l'industrie trop invasive. Les arguments de cette dernière ont prévalu dans les rangs des sénateurs, au terme d'un débat entamé jeudi passé. La majorité estime que la loi va beaucoup trop loin et interfère avec les principes de l'économie de marché."

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Moving the goalposts on malnutrition

Published on 2016-06-14 12:06:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

In Global #NutritionReport 2016 out today we are redefining what it means to be malnourished https://t.co/u98wMlGj1q pic.twitter.com/tdJJjc7EYI— Corinna Hawkes (@CorinnaHawkes) June 14, 2016
As the tweet above indicates, the Global Nutrition Report Stakeholder Group has today launched an assault on the English language. Although nearly everybody understands malnutrition to mean a lack of food, they are now including overweight and obese people in their list of people who are 'malnourished'. This means that most people in Britain are suffering from malnutrition.

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The Blind Fanaticism Of ASH Wales

Published on 2016-06-13 20:17:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

My ears have just stopped ringing from having a Sikh and a Derryman employing an incredibly loud kango to knock down internal walls at Puddlecote Inc today - for SIX BASTARD HOURS - as part of our reorganisation plans.

Back in the comparative peace of home, I now find that ASH Wales have been up to their old tricks again. You may remember that in March they were thrilled to "fully welcome" an outdoor smoking ban on Little Haven beach in Pembrokeshire which also encompasses e-cigs, so much so that their logo (and that of fellow 'vape-friendly' Cancer Research UK) is proudly displayed on the sign which announces the fascistic and pointless policy to the public.

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New Pediatrics Study Provides Absolutely No Evidence that E-Cigarettes are a Gateway to Smoking

Published on 2016-06-13 10:00:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

A new study published online today in the journal Pediatrics purports to show that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking among youth. The study followed a sample of approximately 150 never-users of e-cigarettes and 150 ever users of e-cigarettes for one year. Both groups consisted entirely of never smokers. At one-year follow-up, the initiation of smoking was compared between the two groups. E-cigarette users were found to be six times more likely to have initiated smoking. Based on these findings, the paper concludes that e-cigarette use among youth increases the risk of progression to smoking: "These findings suggest that e-cigarette use may promote smoking during the transition to adulthood ... ."

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