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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.

WHO do they think they are?

Published on 2015-02-27 07:44:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Since it's Friday, let's have a bit of good news for a change...

Pressure mounts on WHO chief over Ebola
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Margaret Chan must resign over the group's inefficient response to the recent Ebola crisis, the largest global AIDS organization said.

In a scathing statement released this week, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) called for sweeping reforms to the WHO to better prevent and manage dangerous epidemics.

"In light of WHO's lack of leadership, decisive action and resolve to embrace responsibility for the protection of global public health in the Ebola crisis, the current Head of WHO should step down so that a proactive, reform-minded individual might take the lead and transform WHO into an efficient global instrument for rapidly addressing global health threats," AHF said.

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The Framework Convention On Cake Control?

Published on 2015-02-27 04:20:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Today is the tenth anniversary of the formation of the tobacco control industry's preferred method of undemocratic censorship and destruction of freedom of choice, the FCTC.

Congratulations to them for being entirely unelected yet able to demand policies which have massively boosted tobacco industry share prices, while simultaneously imposing laws which restrict the liberty of people and private businesses to make their own decisions in life unhindered. And all while descending into a neurotic totalitarian pit of opaque debate, opulent self-enrichment, suppression of the press and trampling of free speech that would turn any self-respecting fascist green with envy.

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Sugar sales (still) falling

Published on 2015-02-27 03:49:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

From the BBC:

Researchers from Action on Sugar are calling for strict limits on added sugars. 
They argue that as the body can generate energy from food such as fruits, vegetables, pasta and rice, there is no need for additional sugar beyond this.
That is the very essence of puritanism, right there. That people should be given—as Cromwell said—“not what they want but what is good for them.”

Meanwhile, Action on Sugar have been getting excited by this:

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Study Blows Out of the Water the Claim that Substantially Reducing Cigarette Smoking Has No Health Benefits

Published on 2015-02-27 03:21:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary

One of the most dramatic effects that has been observed in a large proportion of e-cigarette users who are not successful in quitting completely is a substantial reduction in the amount of cigarettes that they smoke. In fact, studies have shown that a solid majority of e-cigarette users are successful either in quitting or in reducing their cigarette consumption substantially. By substantially, I mean reductions around the order of 75% to 90% or higher.

A key argument used by e-cigarette opponents to demonize these products is that these huge smoking reductions have no health benefits because unless you quit completely, you are not improving your health. The opponents have to make this argument because if it were true that these substantial reductions in smoking were improving the health of smokers, then the public health benefit of these products would be enormous.

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They Never Stop, Do They?

Published on 2015-02-26 16:44:32.
Website: Frank Davis

They never stop, do they? Today’s call by for a ban on smoking in parks and squares attracted only a modest amount of media attention. We’ve been here before of course because former Labour health minister Lord Darzi made a … Continue reading →

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An Outbreak Of Common Sense In Pall Mall

Published on 2015-02-26 12:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Tuesday night saw a final event in the Hands Off Our Packs campaign entitled Stop The Nonsense which, as you'd expect, I trotted up to London for.

Now, I've driven past the venue - the Institute of Directors building in Pall Mall - quite often, but never knew it was so opulent inside (as always, click to enlarge all pics).

Of course, as a director of a company myself, I had to enquire what the cost was to be a member and all I'll say is that it would be twice as expensive to buy a season ticket at White Hart Lane. I'd be tempted to join but apparently using e-cigs is banned inside - I say apparently because I only know after others told me they had politely been approached and asked to stop, whereas I was left alone throughout. Lucky me, eh?

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Anti--Smoking Groups' Campaign of Deception About E-Cigarettes Has Completely Undermined the Public's Appreciation of the Severe Hazards of Smoking

Published on 2015-02-26 06:24:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary

For decades, public health organizations have attempted to educate the public about the severe hazards associated with cigarette smoking, with tremendous success. However, in the past year or two, many of these same organizations have succeeded in completely undermining the public's appreciation of how hazardous smoking is. They have accomplished this, albeit unintentionally, through a campaign of deception about the hazards of electronic cigarettes.

In their zeal to demonize e-cigarettes, they have not only resorted to misleading and even lying to the public, but have done substantial public health damage. This damage comes in two forms. First, they have succeeded in convincing many smokers not to attempt to quit smoking. Second, they have succeeded in convincing about 50% of the public that smoking is not as hazardous as they previously thought.

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Outdoor smoking bans (again)

Published on 2015-02-26 06:12:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

That revolting individual, Lord Darzi, is calling for a ban on smoking outdoors again. In the British Medical Journal, Darzi and Simon Chapman are playing a game of good cop/bad cop, with the latter assuming the role of a half-decent human being by opposing the policy.

...some have invoked the virtues of shielding children from the sight of smoking as worthy evidence in this debate. They may concede that smoking in wide open spaces such as parks and beaches poses a near homeopathic level of risk to others, but they point to an indirect negative effect from the mere sight of smoking. This line of reasoning is pernicious and is redolent of totalitarian regimes in their penchants for repressing various liberties, communication, and cultural expression not sanctioned by the state. North Korea’s residents are routinely subjected to such fiats, but many of us would recoil at the use of such reasoning elsewhere.

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Research Built on a House of Cards

Published on 2015-02-25 17:20:53.
Website: Frank Davis

It’s about time someone said this: Diet research built on a ‘house of cards’? The next time a headline about diet and disease catches your eye, check the fine print of the study. If it is based on a food … Continue reading →

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Fini la clope à la maison ! - par Christine Zaugg de GHI

Published on 2015-02-25 15:47:58.
Website: Accueil

GHI: "Fini la clope à la maison!  - Des régies et propriétaires banissent le tabac des logements.
- La loi n’interdit pourtant pas de fumer chez soi…
- Témoignages et réactions du CIPRET et de l’Asloca.

«J’en ai marre, je ne peux plus respirer, mon voisin toraille tous les soirs son gros cigare sur son balcon, la fumée rentre chez moi, j’ai l’impression de fumer aussi son Cohiba!» Paul* (prénom fictif), habite le centre-ville dans un appartement ancien. «Je ne suis pas contre les fumeurs, mais trop, c’est trop! Car en plus, je subis aussi la fumée passive des locataires du 3e. Qui sont eux de très grands amateurs de cannabis

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Dick Out And About: A Test For Democracy

Published on 2015-02-25 09:29:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

I've written a piece for Totally Wicked's Article 20 legal challenge site, pointing out that the legal system is designed to hold politicians to account when they fail the public ... which is what they've done with much of the EU Tobacco Products Directive.

You can read it here if you so wish. Do also have a look round the

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Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Exposes Campaign of Deception About E-Cigarettes, Shows How Anti-Smoking Groups are Harming the Public's Health

Published on 2015-02-25 06:23:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary

My op-ed, entitled "The Misbegotten Crusade Against E-Cigarettes," appears today in the Wall Street Journal.

In the piece, I argue that many anti-smoking and health groups, including the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, have been waging a war against e-cigarettes, but that this war is based on a campaign of deception. These groups are misleading the public, and sometimes even lying about the relative health effects and effectiveness of electronic cigarettes.

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The future of pubs (if CAMRA keeps winning)

Published on 2015-02-25 05:04:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I gave a speech at the Future Pubs conference yesterday. This is what I said...

I’ve been asked today to give you my predictions of what the pub industry might look like in 2020. There are, I think, two realistic possibilities. The mundane view is that the trade will be pretty similar to what it is now, but with even fewer pubs. I would expect to see the rate of closures to slow down, but under any realistic scenario I wouldn’t expect to see the number of pubs grow. In only 3 of the last 35 years has there been an increase in the number of pubs, and only a modest increase at that, and all three of those years were in the twentieth century. The recession has, I’m sure, played a part in the decimation of the pub trade in the last eight years, but that doesn’t mean that recovery will lead to the growth in the sector. For the last couple of generations, pubs have closed during recessions and they have continue to close, albeit in smaller numbers, during booms.

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RTSun-le 19.30: " La Cour européenne justifie l'utilisation de caméras cachées par les journalistes"

Published on 2015-02-24 17:35:18.
Website: Accueil

RTSun-le 19.30: "Le recours de quatre journalistes de la télévision alémanique condamnés pour avoir piégé un conseiller en assurance avec une caméra cachée a été acceptée mardi par la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme.

"La Cour juge que la justice zurichoise a violé leur droit à la liberté d'expression et met en avant le rôle essentiel de la presse dans une société démocratique, qui est appelée à jouer un rôle indispensable de "chien de garde.

"Dans le cadre d'une émission de "Kassensturz", l'équivalent alémanique de "A bon entendeur" sur la RTS, les journalistes avaient enregistré en 2003 un entretien en caméra cachée avec un courtier qui proposait la conclusion d'une assurance-vie. Le but était de démasquer les insuffisances de certains conseillers."

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Corruption in High Places

Published on 2015-02-24 16:53:45.
Website: Frank Davis

Lots of resignations today. Which is always a good thing. There’s been the resignation of UN IPCC boss Rajendra Pachauri, facing sexual harassment charges. More about Pachauri from Donna Laframboise. And the resignation of ex-Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind  (but not … Continue reading →

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Tomorrow's SRNT Annual Meeting: Brought to You by Pfizer

Published on 2015-02-24 13:32:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary

Tomorrow marks the start of the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) in Philadelphia.

According to the 2015 meeting program, a  major purpose of the conference is: "Through scientific exchange, integrate current research with implications for clinical practice." Specifically, a major focus of the conference is discussing recommendations for the treatment of smoking addiction, including the use of drugs such as Chantix and newer alternatives such as electronic cigarettes.

In fact, there will be at least 12 presentations on the use of Chantix for smoking cessation. In addition, there will be one talk on the potential suicide risk that has been observed in post-marketing studies of Chantix users. However, that talk is based on a published paper which concludes that "there is consistent evidence that varenicline either does not cause increased suicide outcomes, or if it does, the effect is very small." That paper makes recommendations for the labeling of the drug.

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A Terrible Atrocity

Published on 2015-02-23 17:36:00.
Website: Frank Davis

Michael Siegel picked up the same story that I did last night: According to an article in the Gloucester (UK) Citizen, the health scare over electronic cigarettes has led many adoption agencies in the UK to prohibit anyone who uses … Continue reading →

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The long tentacles of temperance

Published on 2015-02-23 16:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

There's a 'public health' conference in Edinburgh in October on the subject of alcohol. The conference is called 'Momentum for change: research and advocacy reducing alcohol harm'. The words 'advocacy' and 'change' make it fairly clear that it is another chance for activists to swap notes and plan political campaigns. As usual, this shindig is being financed by the unwitting taxpayer, in this instance via the Scottish government and the Scottish NHS.

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Tobacco Control: Fascism's Trojan Horse

Published on 2015-02-23 13:18:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Don't lawfully confront the government if you're Irish, will you? Because they don't like that sort of thing.
Don't work for tobacco firms, lawyers urged CHILDREN'S Minister James Reilly has said it is not appropriate for legal firm Arthur Cox to represent tobacco firms and state agencies. Dr Reilly is currently reviewing the relationship between the State's child and family agency Tulsa and the firm of solicitors representing Japan Tobacco International (JTI), which is threatening legal action against the Government if it introduces plain packaging for cigarettes. "I fail to see how we send the right message by employing legal firms that are prepared to represent the tobacco industry, whose history in this area is quite appalling, to be quite frank. "Their inability to come out and tell the truth time after time has been quite shocking ..."Unlike Dr Reilly the eejit liar, of course.

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L'hyper-fouinage impuni doit cesser en Suisse !

Published on 2015-02-23 08:49:05.
Website: Accueil

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Some good news about sock puppets

Published on 2015-02-23 04:31:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Eric Pickles deserves a standing ovation for his latest move to stop taxpayers' money being used for political lobbying/advocacy/campaigning. His department—DCLG—is introducing a new clause into its grant agreements, saying:

“The following costs are not Eligible Expenditure:- Payments that support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, Government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action”
In short, this means that local authorities cannot spend money lobbying the government. Pickles says:

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Anti-Smoking Groups' Demonization of Electronic Cigarettes is Leading to Devastating Consequences

Published on 2015-02-23 03:35:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco and Alcohol News Analysis and Commentary

According to an article in the Gloucester (UK) Citizen, the health scare over electronic cigarettes has led many adoption agencies in the UK to prohibit anyone who uses e-cigarettes from adopting children. In fact, some districts preclude anyone who has used an e-cigarette in the past 12 months from adopting.

According to the article:

"A couple has been stopped from adopting a child after the would-be father was seen smoking an e-cigarette. The decision by social workers at Staffordshire County Council came after the pair had passed a long series of tests to qualify as parents. They were told they could not adopt if either of them had used an e-cigarette in the past 12 months – despite experts saying that ‘vaping’ poses little or no threat to children in the home. The couple told The Mail on Sunday: “When there are so many children desperate for a family and a stable home, to put up such trivial barriers is ridiculous.” According to its investigation at least 13 councils in England ban e-cigarette users from fostering or adopting young children." ... 

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Vapoteur, un couple est frappé d'une interdiction d'adopter

Published on 2015-02-22 17:05:03.
Website: Accueil

Un couple vient d'être frappé d'une interdiction d'adopter au motif qu'il a été surpris en train de«vapoter ».

Des travailleurs sociaux du Staffordshire County Council ont pris cette décision après avoir soumis le couple à une longue batterie de tests pour vérifier s'il satisfaisait aux exigences de la parentalité.

On a informé ledit couple que l'adoption leur serait refusée si l'un des conjoints avait fumé des cigarettes électroniques au cours des 12 derniers mois, cela malgré les déclarations d'experts attestant que le »vapotage » intra muros ne présentent qu'une menace légère ou nulle pour les enfants à la maison.

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Bad Science and Bad Law

Published on 2015-02-22 16:23:32.
Website: Frank Davis

I wrote about this recently: The scandal of manipulated meteorological temperatures. The Manhattan Contrarian has 4 essays on The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4. The questions are mounting: Are government climate agencies tampering with climate … Continue reading →

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The 99 per cent

Published on 2015-02-22 16:23:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

When the UK government suddenly announced that it would be pushing ahead with plain packaging last month, some people wondered why it had not waited for the results of the public consultation to be published.

The consultation has now been published...

99% say no to plain packs
Westminster is facing increasing pressure to backtrack on proposals to introduce plain tobacco packaging after an overwhelming 99% of respondents to a public consultation were opposed to the legislation.
The results of the plain pack consultation, released last Wednesday, showed the government had received 137,000 responses on the issue.

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A Polite Fiction Debunked By E-Cigs

Published on 2015-02-22 10:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

For a Sunday evening dose of good sense, may I direct your attention to an article in the Oregonian by Jacob Grier on the subject of e-cigs bans. Because he articulates very well why I love the advent of vaping for its unerring ability to expose the tobacco control industry as a manipulative and knowingly mendacious movement.
Many of us doubted that the evidence [behind smoking bans] really mattered. As I wrote in The Oregonian/OregonLive at the time, "Protecting workers is simply the polite fiction by which nonsmokers have imposed their will on an increasingly unpopular minority." We suspected this, but how could we prove it? What if there were a device that looked like a cigarette and mimicked the effects of smoking, yet emitted a mostly harmless vapor instead of tobacco smoke? If authorities tried to ban that too, without bothering to establish that it endangered anyone, then our suspicions would be vindicated. That device exists. It's called an e-cigarette. And sure enough, the Multnomah Board of County Commissioners is voting on whether to ban its use indoors. The Legislature, too, may expand the state's smoking ban to cover vaping. The evidence that e-cigarettes cause significant harm to users, much less to bystanders, is weak to non-existent. The county's case against them is that they sort of look like smoking. Vaping indoors, says the Board of Health for Multnomah County, "threatens to undermine compliance with smoking regulations and reverse the progress that has been made in establishing a social norm that smoking is not permitted in public places and places of employment." Never mind whether any real person has ever been confused by this. Ask instead why merely keeping up appearances is a matter for the law. If simulated smoking must be banned in bars just to send a healthy message, then my God, think of all the actual drinking going on!Yep, it's never been about health.

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Link Tank 21/02

Published on 2015-02-21 02:10:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Take your pick.

The tyranny of health Down Under

Sin taxes, public health and public opinion

Green Party: The first 100 days

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James Reilly: liar or simpleton?

Published on 2015-02-20 11:03:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

James Reilly, arguably Ireland's most fanatical anti-tobacco crusader, displayed a staggering degree of ignorance (or dishonesty) when discussing snus in a parliamentary meeting this week. The video below shows the imbecile (or liar) claiming that people in Sweden cut their gums in order to use the world's safest tobacco product.

This, of course, is sheer nonsense, as journalist Dan MacGuill says on his blog...

In case you didn’t already know, using snus does NOT involve cutting your gums. That’s a complete fiction – passed on as fact by a trained doctor, to a committee responsible for performing due diligence on Ireland’s public health legislation.

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EU Confirms It's Not About Health

Published on 2015-02-20 10:15:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Via Clive Bates and the FT, it seems the EU is the latest organisation to prove your humble host correct.

A document has come to light (here) which shows early plans are being made to add excise duty - otherwise known as sin taxes - to e-cigs.
(a) Do you experience problems in your Member State because E-cigarettes and other (new) nicotine containing products are currently not excisable products? (b) What are your impressions of the development and size of the market of E-cigarettes and other (new) nicotine containing products? Are there any signs of substitution of the regular tobacco products? (c) What do you think of the option to adjust the scope of excisable products by including a nicotine-based category?In other words, so many people are switching from tobacco to vaping, member states are suffering a drop in income. This, apparently, is deemed to be causing "problems".

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Santé publique: tous encartés de force ! Protestation de la FMH

Published on 2015-02-20 10:04:07.
Website: Accueil

"L’obligation remplace la liberté d’utilisation

"Lors de sa séance d’aujourd’hui, la Commission de la santé du Conseil national a décidé de remplacer la double liberté d’utilisation dans la loi fédérale sur le dossier électronique du patient par une obligation. La FMH regrette cette décision. La liberté d’utilisation pour le médecin et pour le patient est en effet décisive pour la qualité et l’acceptation du dossier électronique du patient."

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Un pirate dénonce l'incurie de la Confédération

Published on 2015-02-20 07:41:58.
Website: Accueil

Parti Pirate: La NSA, nos téléphones, et la réaction des autorités Suisses

"Il y a quand même des histoires hallucinantes.

"On apprend en même temps que:

" Gemalto, 1er producteur de cartes SIM a été hacké par la NSA qui a volé des millions de cléfs de cartes SIM permettant de faire une surveillance renforcée de nos téléphones sans passer par un juge. "

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Controlling the food supply

Published on 2015-02-20 04:50:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Following on from yesterday's post about The Lancet's obesity plan, here it is in infographic form. Click to enlarge.

This is Government with a very big G. It is state control of what can be made, what it looks like, how it is sold, where it is sold and what it is sold for. The only thing the government doesn't do is make and sell the food itself (except in schools).

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