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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.

Why Are They All So Nasty?

Published on 2018-06-18 09:21:54.
Website: Frank Davis

They all seem to be such nasty people in Tobacco Control. Everything they do is nasty. Smoking bans are nasty things: exiling people to the outdoors is a very nasty thing to do to anybody. And the No Smoking signs … Continue reading →

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Anheuser-Busch InBev Proves that Its Smart Drinking Goals Program is a Complete Hoax: Ohio State and USC Have Fallen Prey

Published on 2018-06-18 01:34:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

Two years ago, I explained why I think Anheuser-Busch InBev's Smart Drinking Goals program is a complete farce. Last year, I criticized the NIAAA for endorsing the alcohol industry's Smart Drinking Goals program. Today, I will show how Anheuser-Busch itself has proven that its Smart Drinking Goals program is a huge hoax, designed solely as a public relations ploy and devoid of any sincere intent to reduce alcohol consumption.

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Megalithic Structures Of The Ice Age

Published on 2018-06-17 12:10:34.
Website: Frank Davis

Yesterday I was arguing that as ice sheets melted at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, they gradually subsided to reveal the peaks of mountains and hills, which emerged as an archipelago of islands in a … Continue reading →

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NIH Disbands Alcohol Clinical Trial Because of Scientific and Ethical Breaches

Published on 2018-06-16 20:01:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In a decision that I applaud, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced yesterday that based on the recommendation of his Advisory Committee after an extensive investigation, he is discontinuing the MACH15 (Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health) clinical trial of moderate alcohol consumption (see original news reports here and here).

In its report, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director concluded as follows:

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Hill Forts Of The Ice Age

Published on 2018-06-16 11:06:54.
Website: Frank Davis

For the past 5 months or so I’ve been taking a deep interest in ice ages. The last one ended only 12,000 years ago, which is the blink of an eye in geological time scales. And over the past few … Continue reading →

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The Lancet has become a laughing stock

Published on 2018-06-15 15:10:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Richard Horton, the Marxist victim of a midlife crisis who has turned The Lancet into a student rag, holds forth in the current issue on the World Health Organisation's failure to endorse fizzy drink taxes as a 'best buy'. WHO's 'best buys' require a modicum of evidence showing that they do what they are supposed to do (not much, admittedly, but some). Leaving aside the question of whether the WHO should really be getting involved with the price of soft drinks, it is beyond dispute that sugary drink taxes have never reduced obesity anywhere in the world and so it is right that its committee rejected them.

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Realists And Idealists

Published on 2018-06-15 10:40:49.
Website: Frank Davis

I recently ordered a copy of The Strange Death Of Europe, by Douglas Murray. It arrived yesterday. And I’ve read the Introduction, which starts with the words: Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit … Continue reading →

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The EU's taxpayer-funded racket

Published on 2018-06-14 12:11:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

FOREST EU have recently published an interesting report about the army of NGOs in Brussels who exist solely to make smokers' lives miserable. You won't be surprised to hear that they are mainly funded by the EU (ie. by taxpayers). The four most vociferous anti-tobacco groups are shown below:

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Is Trump Relaxing The War On Drugs?

Published on 2018-06-14 10:50:29.
Website: Frank Davis

This surprised me: 8 June 2018 President Donald Trump told a gaggle of reporters Friday that he will “probably” support efforts by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to end the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized it. “I … Continue reading →

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Junk polling

Published on 2018-06-12 08:00:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Last week I argued that people who are in favour of a ban on 'junk food' advertising before 9pm don't know what they're supporting. When useful idiots like Jamie Oliver talk about 'junk food', they really mean HFSS food (high in fat, sugar or salt) and this is an extremely broad category that includes things like raisins, butter, mustard, yoghurt, jam, breakfast cereals and cheese.

Add this ignorance to the fact that most people don't care for advertising in general and it's no surprise that a majority supports such a prohibition. I mentioned a YouGov survey which found that 65 per cent of people surveyed support a watershed ban but I couldn't find the raw data on the YouGov website.

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The Truthiness about Carbs

Published on 2018-06-11 19:30:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I've written about carbohydrates for Spectator Health. I know it's an emotional subject for some, but do have a read. The article is a review of a programme that appeared on BBC1 last week, ludicrously titled The Truth About Carbs.

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Forgotten moonshine

Published on 2018-06-11 10:39:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I've been reading Kevin R. Kosar's Moonshine: A Global History which I commend to you. It is easy to for those of us in rich countries to forget how much illicit, homemade and unlicensed alcohol is consumed in low and middle income countries. A report published by IARD today gives some estimates and they are pretty staggering.

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Alcohol Clinical Trial Continues to Crumble: Anheuser-Busch Pulls Its Funding

Published on 2018-06-10 22:44:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In another setback for the NIAAA's and alcohol industry's study of the "health benefits" of encouraging people to drink, Anheuser-Busch has pulled its funding from the clinical trial because recent controversy over how the research funding was solicited has undermined the study's credibility.

According to an article by Roni Caryn Rabin in the New York Times:

"Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of five alcohol companies underwriting a $100 million federal trial on the health benefits of a daily drink, is pulling its funding from the project, saying controversy about the sponsorship threatens to undermine the study’s credibility, the company announced Friday. ... Anheuser-Busch InBev had committed $15.4 million to support the trial, representing nearly one-quarter of the $66 million in funds pledged by beer and liquor companies to date."

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Public Health England's Ratchet

Published on 2018-06-10 18:27:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Here's a puzzler.

A hospital in Swindon wanted to get all that ghastly (dahling) smoke away from those who complain about smokers doing so. So they came up with a very calm, common sense solution.
Head of health and safety Mark Hemphill said: “The trust did have a plan to install visitor smoking shelters, and a policy was drafted and installation of three smoking shelters outside of the atrium, west and emergency department entrances were specified and costed for installation by Carillion last summer."Wise man. Everyone is catered for and there is no longer any problem. Well, there wouldn't be until Public Health England chipped in.

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Johns Hopkins Public Health Researchers Claim that Smoking May Be No More Hazardous than Vaping

Published on 2018-06-10 16:48:00.
Website: The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary

In an article published in the Summer 2018 issue of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine, two researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are denying that smoking is known to be any more hazardous than vaping.

According to the article, Dr. Ana Maria Rule, an assistant professor in the the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, argued that: "Even if vaping proves safer than smoking, that's still a long way from a gold stamp for their safety." This of course implies that we don't currently know that vaping is any safer than smoking. In turn, this means the professor's claim is that we don't currently know that smoking is any more harmful than vaping.

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Keep Smoking Tobacco, Says Finland

Published on 2018-06-07 17:07:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

In case you are not on social media so missed this, have a gander at something quite staggering!

Remember I've said for years that one day the lies of tobacco controllers will come back and bite them on the arse? Well, I kinda relished how they seemed unable to cope with e-cigs. I always presumed that it would be that kind of harm reduction which would expose them, simply because they are too dim to understand the nuances of a concept where smokers are gently encouraged to switch - when they are ready - to something which would evolve into a valid and satisfying alternative.

They have tried their utmost to demonise vaping - leading to many jaw-dropping and amusing episodes on the way where they reveal themselves to be just a bunch of prohibitionist parasites rather than people interested in health, but with the world now boasting an estimated 44 million vapers they are fighting a losing battle.

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It's not junk food and it's never about the children

Published on 2018-06-06 12:19:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

With the government seemingly minded to crack down on the advertising of junk food to children, it's worth remembering that is isn't 'junk food' and it is never about the children.

As I say today at Spectator Health...

In the public’s mind, ‘junk food’ is synonymous with American fast food chains, an impression reinforced by the media’s tendency to illustrate every story about it with a picture of a burger. If McDonald’s has to wait until 9pm to tell us about their new limited edition bacon burger, it seems a relatively trivial encroachment on freedom.

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Tobacco Control Carnage

Published on 2018-06-05 18:15:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

Still very busy in Puddlecoteville, but I've found a window to get down a few scribbles from what's been in the news of late.

For example, here is the kind of appalling shambles you are left with when you let ideological lunatics determine public sector policy.
Smoking will be fully banned at the Royal United Hospital in Bath by the end of the year. It is currently advertised as a smoke-free site but there are designated shelters for lighting up that will be removed to end the ‘conflicting messages'.Conflicting messages? What would they be? That smokers should be bullied or else it sends the message that people at NHS institutions might be in the caring profession? Yes I suppose they have a point.

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Sarah Wollaston is wrong on so many levels

Published on 2018-06-02 12:20:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Almost unbelievably, the Tories are planning to ban retailers from offering multi-buy discounts on half the food sold in Britain, amongst other ridiculous measures. As I argued this week, these policies are essentially plucked out of the air with no thought given to whether they might work or what damage they will cause.

Sarah Wollaston has hit back at critics, saying...

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Sugar taxes happily absent from WHO report

Published on 2018-06-01 12:59:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The World Health Organisation published its report on 'non-communicable diseases' this morning. It's full of coercive paternalism, naturally, but despite intense lobbying by Michael Bloomberg and the state-funded nanny state racket, taxes on food and soft drink are conspicuous by their absence.

I've just been watching the webcast of the launch event in which the WHO had to defend itself from the predictable but absurd allegation that the panel was in the pocket of Big Sugar/Big Soda. It was made clear that many of the panel members would have been happy for sugar taxes to be included as one of the WHO's 'best buys' but that it was impossible to get consensus because other members recognised that there was insufficient evidence that they actually worked.

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Vaping, Juuling and junk science

Published on 2018-06-01 09:40:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I was on the politics.co.uk podcast this week with Ian Dunt and Lion Shahab talking about vaping. Get it in your lugholes.

I have also written for Cap-X about the latest attempt to resurrect the gateway hypothesis for e-cigarettes...

There is much to be learnt about the vaping phenomenon but while those who study the science are cautious in their conclusions, prohibitionist hucksters yell soundbites from the roof. This, combined with the media’s love of a good scare story, has allowed junk science to flourish and cranks to prosper.

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Neue Ekelgalerie ist online

Published on 2018-05-31 12:27:16.
Website: Netzwerk Rauchen e.V.

Es ist wieder „World No Tobacco Day“ (Weltnichtrauchertag), und die Massenmedien haben mal wieder nichts Besseres zu tun, als kostenlose Antiraucherpropaganda im Sinne von Staaten und Pharmakonzernen zu verbreiten. Das diesjährige Motto in Deutschland lautet: „Pass auf, an wen du dein Herz verlierst!" Damit man seine Freiheit nicht die Tabakkontrolle verliert, sollte man sich deren Botschaften nicht zu Herzen nehmen.

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Food Control

Published on 2018-05-31 09:22:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I've written for Spectator Health about the latest set of demands from the movement that should call itself Food Control...

The committee says that it was ‘impressed by the progress that has been made in Amsterdam using a whole systems approach.’ Amsterdam is the new poster boy for ‘public health’ campaigners because its child obesity rate fell between 2012 and 2015, possibly as a result of a concerted anti-obesity campaign. The campaign didn’t involve any of the tax-and-ban policies being proposed today – it focused on education and physical activity – but Wollaston’s committee turned a blind eye to this as it fumbled towards its preordained conclusion.

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Five ways to stay healthy

Published on 2018-05-29 10:31:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

A study was published in Circulation last month that deserves a quick mention. It looked at the number of years of life a fifty year old can expect to gain by adopting 'five low-risk lifestyle-related factors'. The answer was an impressive 14 years for men and 12.2 years for women.

So what are the five factors that extend life? They were...

1. Not smoking
2. A healthy diet
3. At least 30 minutes of daily physical activity
4. A body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9
5. Moderate alcohol consumption

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'Public Health' Crooks

Published on 2018-05-28 20:30:00.
Website: Dick Puddlecote

If you thought this place was dormant, you'd be wrong. Yes it's been quiet but - as mentioned previously - there are potentially life-changing things going on at Puddlecote Inc and I'm also not long back from a week on a boat in Norfolk with an angry Scottish ex-squaddie frustrated at not having wifi to talk to his Argentinian girlfriend. Still, I'm a survivor so got back safe and sound.

In the past week, though, the global 'public health' community has been busy removing all possible doubt that it might have anything to do with the public's health. In the run-up to the World Health Organisation's World No-Tobacco day on 31st May, they have been doing their damnedest to ensure that the status quo is protected so they can continue trousering the lovely cash that smokers provide.

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In praise of non-communicable diseases

Published on 2018-05-25 11:02:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The WHO has been holding yet another conference this week. Apparently there's an epidemic going on. No, not that outbreak of Ebola in Africa, but an epidemic of 'non-communicable diseases' (NCDs) and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says he is going to put a stop to it.

Director General of WHO @DrTedros on NCDs "No country is immune to NCDs...Let's bring our heads of states and governments to the next high-level meeting on NCDs, seek their political support and stop this epidemic" @Jeremy_Hunt #WHA71 #NCDs pic.twitter.com/CBt3Xgel2B— Sam Doherty (@samdoherty23) May 22, 2018

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E-cigarettes to be re-classified as tobacco?

Published on 2018-05-24 09:54:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

In March, a question was asked of the European Commission which suggested that the World Customs Organisation (WCO) was looking to reclassify e-cigarettes as tobacco products:

In November 2016 the Member States unanimously decided to classify e-liquids as Chemical Products in the Harmonised System of tariff nomenclature (HS).

The World Customs Organisation Review Sub-Committee (WCO RSC) has recently started to discuss potential changes to the HS for implementation in 2022 (HS 2022). Among the options discussed was classification under the heading ‘Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes’.

The main criterion for customs classification is consideration of the physical characteristics of the product concerned.

1. Why does the Commission intend to support the WCO RSC proposal to reclassify e-liquids under the Tobacco chapter?

2. How does it justify the classification of e-liquids not containing any tobacco as tobacco products?
I can find no record of an answer but on 16th May the World Customs Organisation published a document in which it discusses shifting e-cigarettes and vape fluid out of the chemicals category (Chapter 38) and into the tobacco category (Chapter 24). The document isn't freely available online yet, although it has been published on the WCO's member website and has been distributed by the International Chamber of Commerce to its members. I quote the most relevant sections below.

It seems that the WCO has been prompted by the vape-hating Australian government and the World Health Organisation. US health agencies already classify e-cigarettes as tobacco for propaganda purposes and the EU implicitly does the same by regulating them under the Tobacco Products Directive. But they are not defined as such for the purposes of international trade and if the World Customs Organisation changed the classification, it would have several far-reaching repercussions.

Firstly, some countries use the WCO's classification as the legal basis for applying excise on tobacco products. In all Gulf Cooperation Council states, for example, goods in Chapter 24 are subject to a 100 per cent selective (excise) tax in addition to their import tariff.

Secondly, Chapter 24 is normally left out of trade deals, because the 'public health' lobby has successfully lobbied for a tobacco carve out. This means no cuts to tariffs on tobacco and, if e-cigarettes are included, it will mean no cuts to tariffs on vape products - and no protection from such tariffs in future trade deals.

Thirdly, Chapter 24 is excluded from investor protection under most new trade deals. So if you want to start an e-cigarette business in Spain, for example, don't expect any protection when the government suddenly moves the goal posts, cracks down on vaping, confiscates your stock and forces your shop to close.

Finally, it will send a negative message to governments about e-cigarettes. There is already more than enough orchestrated confusion about the health effects of vaping without a major international organisation lumping them in with cigarettes.

The current system works fine. Technically, e-cigarette products are classified in Chapter 38 as:

3824.90: 'chemical products and preparations of the chemical or allied industries (including those consisting of mixtures of natural products), not elsewhere specified or included'.
The EU has two further categories to make it more specific:

3824.99.5600: 'Cartridges and refills, filled, for electronic cigarettes; preparations for use in cartridges and refills for electronic cigarettes

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We tried to warn you (part 94)

Published on 2018-05-24 08:21:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

From Australia...

Those lollies and chocolates invitingly on display at the supermarket checkout are entirely strategic.

Junk food has little to recommend it to the smarter parts of our brains, but to our impulsive side, taste is all that matters. We might strategically avoid the confectionary [sic] aisle, but we all have to pass through the checkout where our impulses can be overwhelmed by the lure of the sugar fix.

Decision psychology researcher Dr Stefan Bode says the checkout trick is just one of a multitude of “environmental cues” that food companies use to market their products, from packaging to lifestyle messages and popular culture.

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Action on Sugar's latest demands

Published on 2018-05-23 20:01:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Consensus Action on Salt, Sugar and Health - as Action on Sugar is now known - is a microscopic pressure group that basically consists of Graham 'Mad Dog' MacGregor and a couple of nutritionists. In 2016, they described the government's childhood obesity plan as 'pathetic' which was rather ungrateful given that the government had capitulated to many of their loony demands. Let's cast our minds back for a moment...

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Helen Dale's review of Killjoys

Published on 2018-05-23 16:44:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

I'm grateful to Helen Dale for writing a long and thoughtful review of my book Killjoys which she combined with the formidable David Leyonhelm's book Freedom's Salesman. Do have a read of it. Part one is here and part two is here.

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Sugar Reduction Year One

Published on 2018-05-22 13:38:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

Public Health England has just released its first report looking at the results of its madcap sugar reduction scheme. The idea is to reduce sugar content in most foods by 20 per cent by 2020. The first target was a five per cent reduction by 2017 but, as today's report shows, this has not happened.

It was never likely to happen. Instead, there has been a two per cent reduction across the eight categories that PHE is most interested in: biscuits, breakfast cereals, chocolate confectionery, ice cream/lollies, puddings, sweet spreads & sauces, sweet confectionery and yoghurts.

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"Strong and compelling evidence" that plain packaging failed

Published on 2018-05-22 08:36:00.
Website: Velvet Glove, Iron Fist

The UK's 'public health' racket is upset that the Tobacco Manufacturers Association has spotted that smoking rates have been rising since plain packaging was introduced. Awkwardly, the figures come from an unimpeachable 'public health' source curated by their own activists. At the very least, they show that the smoking rate has been flat-lining since plain packaging became mandatory and the Tobacco Products Directive came into full effect.

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